A drug is any substance used for medicinal purposes or otherwise with an aim of killing germs or causing a desired effect in the body. Drugs are mainly used in the healthcare industry, thus the tendency by most people to think that they are a health issue and not as dangerous as the law purports them to be. As a matter of fact, drugs are mainly a health issue because of the majority of causes of using drugs, the effects, and the treatment for their addiction are all matters pertinent to the health well-being of individuals. People experiencing mood swings, mental or even personality disorders, as well as the genetic predisposition of a person are health issues that are likely to trigger the use and addiction to drugs (Hart, 2018). The mental, emotional, and physical alterations that the continued use of drugs has on the human body is another clear indication that drugs are more of a health issue and not a legal one. Individuals addicted to drugs can seek intervention at various medical or rehabilitation facilities that will admit and monitor their health progress away from the drugs. It takes medical intervention to rehabilitate a drug user which again points towards drugs being a health matter. The existence of laws that prohibit the possession and use of drugs does not negate the reality that they are a matter of health.
There are various types of drugs available in the legal and illicit markets. The degree of their effects in the lives of people play a pivotal role in determining whether they should be banned or not. Stimulants are drugs that alter the state of a persons mood and they include caffeine, nicotine, amphetamines, and even cocaine (Mosher & Akins, 2013). While nicotine and caffeine are harmless, stimulants like cocaine should be banned due to their addictive nature and damage they do to the society. Then there are depressants like pain relievers or alcohol, which are generally harmless and legal. Other strong drugs ought to be prescribed by a qualified medical practitioner. However, hallucinogens like LSD, ecstacy, as well as cannabis, should be banned altogether since they cause more harm than good to the individual and society. These drugs should be banned completely to avoid their access and usage in the society as they have a detrimental effect to the individual users, their surrounding community, and the entire country at large because the taxpayers will have to foot the inevitable medical bill through subsidized health insurance (Hart, 2018). They should not be given the opportunities of wrecking the lives of energetic citizens who could apply themselves in other productive activities.
Despite having a fraction of the global population, the United States consumes more illicit drugs than any other country in the world. This is despite having drug laws that keeps incarcerating drugs users who break the law of being in possession of drugs (Hammaker & Knadig, 2018). This is in stark contrast to Portugal which has managed to decriminalize all the drugs meaning that there is no jail for drug possession, using, or selling. This has shifted the efforts towards creating awareness, rehabilitating addicts, and counselling them; thus reducing the overall usage of drugs and drug-related arrests. The decriminalization strategy also worked effectively in Switzerland where there are relaxed drug laws. The country went on further to incorporate social welfare to the drug users through job and housing programs. Czech is another European country with lenient drug laws that allows the individual growing, possession, and use of drugs with only large distributors getting hefty fines. The country has integrated harm-reduction programs that have contributed to an overall decline in the number of drug users. The Netherlands is also liberal with its laws governing drug use with only producers and distributors of drugs getting away with fines. This has given its citizens the freedom of choice on whether to engage in drug use or not, thus promoting a culture of mature decision making when it comes to the use of drugs. In Uruguay, the legalization of cannabis and its regulated sale by the government has helped control the consumption by the citizens (Hammaker & Knadig, 2018). The government succeeded in tackling the cocaine menace by giving people a lesser harmful option, with major cocaine distributors in trouble with the law.
It goes without saying that that the continued use of drugs harmful in more ways than just to the health of the user. It has detrimental impact to the society at large like causing financial, legal, marital, and academic problems to the user and their loved ones (Hanson, Venturelli, & Fleckenstein, 2017). Drug use leads to broken families and child neglect. A drug addict or users cannot maintain a health relationship with their family members or partners due to the complications arising from the regular use of addictive drugs. Constant use of drugs leads to homelessness while it increases the chances of crime and violence in the society. Hard drugs like cocaine and heroin are responsible for the rampant poverty and violent crime that takes place in producing countries that are third world nations.
Hart, C. L. (2018). Drugs, society & human behavior. New York, NY : McGraw-Hill Education.
Hammaker, D. K., & Knadig, T. M. (2018). Health care management and the law. Burlington, MA: Jones & Barlett Learning.
Hanson, G. R., Venturelli, P. J., & Fleckenstein, A. E. (2017). Drugs and society. Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Hart, C. (Director). (2013). Challenging Society's View on Drugs [Youtube Video].
Mosher, C., & Akins, S. (2013). Drugs and drug policy: The control of consciousness alteration. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications Inc.
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