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DRUG ABUSE AND ALCOHOL ADDICTION

INTRODUCTION Those who have elusive quest for social order are bound to be disturbed by the activities of drug abuses and drug addicts. The manufacture of illicit dangerous drugs and crime go hand in hand. The allure of tremendous profits constituted a potential attraction with dry trafficking frequently entailing other criminal act viz larceny, murder and bribery.

Invariably, the youth are the worst offenders. Abuse of drugs has now become a noble act that the youth cherishes. Countless number of useful lives has been destroyed due to the use of illicit drugs in societies. Newspaper reports and the activities of the police reveal that drug abuse is not on the decline. The problem of social order has been a bone of contention among various sociological theorists and political sociologist. Donse Hughes (1976) states; Social order is studied for its own sake and also to enable Political sociologist to predict order in society.1 The state with its repressive state apparatus can achieve social order in society by the use of the police, and the military to coerce people. With coercion, people will invariably obey rules and regulations, values and norms of the state. The interest theory on social order sounds very ideal. Human beings in pursuing their various individual interests as security and happiness found out that because of natural hazards of life, it is wiser to co-operate with one another. Thus men unwillingly formed some sort of patterned relationship based on interests.

Thus there exist inconsistencies and deviations from traditionally accepted values. Thus there emanates complexities and modernity of values and behavioural patterns. According to Professor David Matza;

To deviate is to stray from a path2 Deviance is a behavioural attitude which falls short of rules of societal expectation. Drug abuse and addiction of drugs are social deviance thus society must act to contain these people within societal expectations. The desire to control negative behaviour is laudable. Owing to diversities of behaviour, it has always become imperative for society to invent more formal means of maintaining control hence the police, Courts as well as the prison services. The variations in peoples way of life, attitudes and aspirations may be attributed to neglect of deeply held values and injection of new cultural thoughts in the society.

Every society desires order because it is a necessary condition for peace. Social, economic and political progress can be undermined by lack of order. It is safe to suggest that as societies develop, structural differences develop. For society to cope with the problems of development there must be well established institutions to bring back to line those who stray from institutionally approved paths of social action. Social deviance is thus an aspect of behaviour which falls short of expectations of a particular society. A particular behaviour might be tagged deviant or abnormal if it is found to depart from commonly-held patterns of belief and conduct drug abusers and drug addicts are no exceptions. According to Berker; Deviance is not a simple quality present in some kinds of behaviour and absent in others, it is the product of a process which involves the reponses of other people to the behaviour. 3 Deviant behaviour to the labellist theorist is what the audience who view the individuals action interpret it to be. Genetics was introduced into the scope of sociology by Charles Goring in 1913.4 On the other hand the multiple of deviance in society was dismissed by Taylor and Walton Young in 1907, on genetic grounds.5

The activity of drug abusers and drug addicts is abhorred by society. The rules of conduct which obtain amongst the people in a society often appear self-evident and self-justify. This may be the imaginary influence of customs, an element of culture. In this study, the abuse and misuse of drug and drug addiction will be viewed from its social implications. Drugs can be divided into four categories. A) Legal Drugs Tobacco and alcohol are examples of legally available drugs yet they are extremely potent especially over the long term. Most users do not think of themselves as drug abusers since these drugs are categorized as non-drugs by a majority of people. Alcohol is a depressant that is, it lowers the activity of the central nervous system, interfering with mans thinking, concentration and movements. Excessive alcohol intake leads to coma and eventually death. Whist Alcohol lowers the activity of the central nervous system; tobacco which contains a stimulant called nicotine raises the activity of the central nervous system. This leads to lung cancer and heart diseases. You can visualize what may be going on in a persons nervous system if he uses these two drugs. The Lord may forgive us our sins but the central nervous system will not. B) Over The Counter Drugs

The major offenders here are the analgesics, cough preparations and slimming drugs (including laxatives). Massive advertisement and easy availability of these substances make people believe that they are safe to use. C) Prescription Drugs

The drugs involved here are mainly sedatives and tranquilizers. The problem here is for example, patient non-compliance and visits to several Doctors by the patients.

D)

Illicit Drugs

This includes drugs like Heroin, Marijuana, amphetamines and LSD. These are substances bought on the street by the abusers. Many people exclude themselves to define drug abuse as the abuse of this type of drugs. Heroin relaxes the central nervous system, relieves pain and produces a sense of well being which leads to, restlessness, mood swings, physical dependency, liver diseases, AIDS (from contaminated needles), vomiting and lower immunity. Marijuana also relaxes the mind and body, distorts perceptions, creates panic attacks, possible hallucinations, impaired memory and if used in pregnancies the babies may have low birth weight and slower growth rate. An amphetamine creates sense of excitement, speed up physical and mental processes, causes blurred vision, dizziness, hallucinations, mental illness, stroke and heart failure. LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) affects the senses, emotions, and reasoning, often producing delusions or visions.

The problem of drug abuse must not be seen as an isolated phenomena restricted to a few weak individuals. It is something that concerns us all. After World War II, drug abuse has for many countries become the greatest social evil of today. It is a health problem with huge costs.

In the middle and at the end of 1960s the abuse of non-alcoholic substances increased especially among the younger people. What the cause was for this rapid propagation is not completely clear. Historically and culturally you may look upon the 1960s as a time of liberation when old attitudes and ways of living were questioned. Today the situation has become more stable and the number of drug addicts is on the increase.

EFFECTS OF DRUGS ABUSED AND THE OPERATIONS OF DRUG ABUSERS People are seen to share common thoughts about reality. Activities that are praiseworthy and condemnable are stated explicitly in values, norms and codes of conduct in every society. Certain groups however, accentuate these values, disdain the norms of the society and attempt to live all their life in a subterranean fashion. The juvenile delinquent (drug abuse and drug addicts) of varying extent epitomise the position of those who violate societal values, rules and regulations. We can define drug as;
a medicine or other substance which has a marked physiological effect when taken into the body. A substance with narcotic or stimulant effect.6

Our working definition for a drug is; chemical substance with biological effects. Since drugs are substances or preparations we apply internally or externally to our bodies to treat diseases, it is vital to adhere to instructions labelled on them. Once I chanced upon a poster that read, use drugs wisely they can be dangerous. This depicts the effects of drugs; they can do good and bad.

Drugs are made to produce desired effects when taken or applied. But they also have harmful and undesirable effects. For drugs to attain their desired effects, they always carry instructions on them. Generally, there are controls exerted on the possession, storage and the use of drugs. When we digress from medical prescriptions and social conformed means of use of a particular drug it is said to be abuse of drugs. therapeutical purposes. Drugs that is socially safe and pleasurable for instance alcohol are destructive when used by many individuals.7 It is difficult to rationalise the use of every drug for non

DRUG ABUSE, ADDICTS AND THEIR EFFECT ON SOCIETY

The World Book Encyclopaedia defines drug abuse; as the nonmedical use of a drug that interferes with a healthy and productive life.8 But the New Encyclopaedia Britannica gives a more elaborate and accepted definition which states that drug abuse is; the excessive, maladaptive, or addictive use of drugs for non medical purposes despite social, psychological, and physical problems that may arise from such use.9 General definitions given on drug abuse centralises on the persistent and sporadic use of drug inconsistent with or not related to acceptable practices. Thus in examining the monetary constrains in which emanates from abuse of drug, Alan Norton states; the concept of disease has widen alcoholism itself rather than solely as neurological consequences, cosmetic surgery are notoriously costly in terms of money and doctors time.10 As far back as recorded history, every society used drugs that produce effects on moods and thoughts. Moreover, there are individuals who deviate from customs with respect to the time and amount of drug to use at a point in time. Thus the non medical use of drugs is as old as civilization itself.11

The youth uses drugs for various reasons. Some experiment because their friends are indulged in them, and they find it difficult to resist peer pressure. To attempt to appear grown-up they imitate their parents or adults by drinking and smoking. It is not only the youth who indulge in drugs, even though a larger number are involved, but adults who should know better and serve as role model for the youths of today. Well some adults can not cope with the stress of life, job, and family pressure so they seek refuge in drugs. Some people use drugs out of curiosity, for a thrill,

or to rebel. Regardless of why drug use begins, people continue the practice because they become dependent on the drug.

Alcohol is the most abused drug. If one is of age, one needs no prescription to purchase any quantity provided you have the effective demand. In Africa, children are sent to purchase alcohol in bars for adults thus setting bad examples. Alcohol is considered as a social catalyst during social gatherings, such as parties, weddings, funerals etcetera.

Alcohol addicts deliberately cause disorders at social gathering. These addicts escape the full rigours of the law on the grounds that they were taken away with the drug. There are activities that people in their right senses will abhor. But under the influence of alcohol such behaviours are meted out in the public irrespective of the audience. The individuals sense of thought is impaired by alcohol.

Highly respectable people loose their jobs on grounds of being alcoholics because of negligence of duty. The inability of the individual to have his sense of direction while under the influence of alcohol gives the notion of alcohol being a depressant. Alcohol on the brain is of course completely at variance with the popular idea that alcohol is a stimulant to mental process.12

Thus a moderate dose of alcohol often makes the individual appear extraverted hence the increase of derive for self-expression.

Another drug abuse is tobacco. Smoking of tobacco is today the most popular habit among the youth, wherever they are.

Socially, tobacco smoking is an accepted habit. The non-prohibition of tobacco smoking gave way to other allied stuffs to be smoked. Basically, tobacco smoking does not make one healthier. According to Walter Modell; the effects of smoking on a novice are fall in blood pressure, slowing of pulse, nausea accompanied by cold sweat not pallor13 Users of tobacco can not attribute any gain which they derive from smoking habit. Some smoke for smoking sake, whilst others are moved by peer-groups. The tobacco habit is one of the strongest dry habits, for even moderate smokers usually find great difficulty in abandoning the habit. The contention by some respondents that they are able to stand cool weather with smoke has no physical and medical justification.

Another smoking habit is the use of Marijuana (cannabinoids). Whilst the smoking of tobacco receives societal support without prohibition, on the contrary the smoking of marijuana is legally prohibited. When the drug is smoked, its effect occur rapidly and last for a short time. Users of this drug usually say they are high when under the influence of the drug. Uncontrollable laughter and giggling are outward manifestations of marijuana users. Larger doses may produce hallucinations and even stimulate psychosis.14

The social and recreational use of cannabis (marijuana) has spread extensively throughout the world, especially amongst young people of all social classes. Its illegal possession and use has presented a considerable challenge to national authorities.

The use of amphetamines by students to keep awake on their books is a living truth. Students resort to high doses of drugs to alter the natural course of things. Those who do not have adaptive physiological constituents develop brain fag and are sent to hospitals before examinations.

Parental values influence drug abuse and whether the child can openly indulge in abuse of drugs depends on his primary socialization. A study by 1,400 Ontario students found a strong relationship between family life and drug abuse. If mother uses legal prescribed tranquilizers every day, her children are 3.5 times more likely to use marijuana, 5 times more likely to use opiate.15

The purchasing of some of these illicit dangerous drugs involve financial constrains as a limiting factor. Students for instance have the assurance double sure that, pocket monies are bound to come by from their parents. Students drug addicts therefore siphon some of their pocket money to purchase the drugs. The youths of today have become arrogant; the blame is usually apportioned to the failure of primary socialization machinery. Thus according to Buckingham; Todays kids have taken honest look at the phoneness and failure of institutions for example the home, the church, and have said that they are all plastic. They are looking for something real and a christless church and loveless home have not provided it.16 Drug addicts know too well that their continued involvement of the use of illicit dangerous drugs threatens their health, among their acquaintances and cost an inordinate amount of money. The only thing drug addicts do not know is how to give up the habit.

Any society that allows, makes possible and even promotes the use of addictive drug is responsible for the individual consequences that affect each user.

Drug addiction is a social problem in many respects. The number of drug users and their dependents, and the factors causing and favouring the development of addiction is closely linked with social structure, social development, and social standards and to some degree of economic prosperity.

Drug addict is a person who while capable of leading a useful and relatively normal life when certain minimum dose is regularly administered, becomes incapable of this when the drug is entirely discontinued.17 In order to have an idea of what addiction is and what addicted behaviour is, it is necessary to see the general nature of the problem that is not to regard and judge addiction as the problem of others but to include oneself.

Addiction constitutes an attempt to satisfy needs immediately thereby, by-passing all modes of acceptable behaviour which lead to satisfaction. But to the individual, the cost of this satisfaction is enormous. Alcohol damages the brain, liver, and heart; it also causes malnutrition because an alcoholic misses meals and this leads to lack of vitamins. Cocaine causes high blood pressure which leads to burst blood vessels in the brain and eventually leads to stroke. An overdose of this leads to death. Some drug users inject these illicit drugs into their bodies using contaminated needles which cause blood poisoning. Sharing needles with persons having AIDS or hepatitis leads to one having this disease.

To meet increasing expenses, drug addicts resort to crime for their daily supply. This leads to the loss of job, arrest, fines, expulsion from school, or even prison terms.

The time spent under the influence of drugs, and thinking about how to get these drugs, makes the addicts neglect their family, friends, and work. Drug users risk injury to themselves and others if they drive a vehicle or man a machine under the influence of drugs. Some family members conceal and make up for a users destructive actions. They pay for the users rent, debts, and even give them money which is used to purchase these drugs. These people are called codependents. They are infact supporting the habit of the addicts.

The effect of drug abuse on society is enormous. Drug users resort to theft, prostitution, or selling of drugs to pay for their drug habits. In the transportation industry, addicts who are drivers and air traffic controllers risk endangering lives of the public. Factory and office workers using drugs perform inefficiently and make mistakes. This mistake leads to higher cost of production. The federal government has to spend a lot of money equipping the law enforcement agencies to combat this problem. Not only that, the price of hospitalization, property damage, time lost from work, cost the government an estimated $143 billion. This is not fair to the citizens since social amenities which should be provided for the citizens are instead used for drug addicts.

TREATMENT FOR DRUG ADDICTS With the exception of treatment of opioid dependence, medical attention to the problems of the drug abuser is largely confined to dealing with overdoses, acute reactions to drug ingestion, and

the incidental medical consequences of drug use such as malnutrition and medical problems caused by unsterilized needles. Abusers of barbiturates and amphetamines may require hospitalization for detoxification, as is common among alcoholics. Others, such as those arrested repeatedly for possession of marijuana, may, in lieu of imprisonment, be forced to undergo treatment designed primarily for opioid abusers. Whatever the substance abused, the goal of most treatment programs is to foster abstinence in the patient.

Two types of treatment programs are used for most opioid users. Therapeutic communities require the drug abuser to take personal responsibility for his or her problem. Typically, the idea behind this treatment is that the drug abuser is emotionally immature and must be given a second chance to grow up. Harsh encounters with other members of the community are typical; the support of others, together with status and privilege, are used as rewards for good behaviour.

The other model for opioid abuse treatment is the use of heroin substitutes. One such substitute is methadone, which acts more slowly than heroin but is still addictive. The idea is to help the user gradually withdraw from heroin use while removing the need for finding the drug on the street. A more recent treatment drug, naltrexone, is non addictive but does not provide an equivalent high; it also cannot be used by persons with liver problems, which are common among addicts.18

Treatment for drug abuse is not always successful. Some people must fight strong cravings for years after they stop using drugs. The success of the treatment often depends on the persons

desire for cure. Pressure from the family and employer often motivates the user to seek treatment and stay of drugs.

PREVENTION OF DRUG ABUSE When it comes to prevention of drug abuse it becomes an international and collective responsibility of nations for the demand and the supply of illicit drugs cut across frontiers. Efforts therefore must be made to cut the supply chain or even find a way if possible to stop it production. The Interpol should be disciplined in their bid to combating drug production, transporting and distribution else they would be corrupted with large sums of money by the traffickers. The United States for instance attempts to block the supply of drugs at its borders. The federal government has coast guards who patrol their shores to prevent illegal shipment of cocaine and other narcotics in the Country. The U. S. customs services monitors and examines people across its borders to prevent them from smuggling drugs over.

The drug enforcement administration (DEA) should collaborate with other federal agencies and governments to combat drug by arresting those who distribute, finance, and process illegal drugs. To always serve as a deterrent to those in the business and prospective drug pushers, when culprits are apprehended, they should be given minimum sentence of 25 years.

To drug users, there should be intense education about the dangers and consequences for many are the ignorant and innocent who fall victim to bad peer influences. Drug abuse, prevention and dangers associated with it should be made part of the school curriculum for children. Children should be taught how to resist peer pressure to try drugs. There should be educational campaigns,

crime-watch programmes and school administrators should make great efforts to rid their school of drugs to protect the innocent and vulnerable. Companies should test its workers for the presence of drugs in their urine, blood and hair. Those who pass these tests should be acknowledged and given some incentives that would deter the addicts from taking drugs.

The world would be more peaceful and a better place to live if it were free of drug abuses and its related crimes and social vices. It should be the responsibility of everybody, the family, neighbours, friends, educators, legislators, etcetera to fight drugs abuses and addiction, processing of illegal drugs, distribution and financing to guarantee our survival and generations yet unborn. SAY NO TO DRUGS.

REFERENCES
1. R. A. Donse and J. Hughes, Political Sociology, Oxford University Press, 1976, p. 16 2. David. Matza, Becoming Deviant, Englewood Cliffs, N. J., Prentice Hall, p. 10 3. Howart Berker, 4. C. Goring, 5. Taylor and Walton Young, Outsiders, Free Press, New York, p. 10 The English Convict, HMSO, London, p. 18 Values in Deviancy Theory and Society (British Journal) p 85 6. [Anon]1 Concise Oxford Dictionary 10th Edition on CD-Rom 2000 Version 1.0, Oxford University Press 1999, 2000 7. F. H. Meyers and E. Jawetz, Review of Medical Pharmacology, Manchester University Press, 1976, p. 342 8. [Anon]2 9. [Anon]3 The World Book Encyclopaedia, World Book Inc., U.S.A., 1995, p. 3 New Encyclopaedia Britannica, Volume 4, U.S.A., 2003, p. 233 Drug Science and Society, Hodder and Stroughton, 1969, p. 284 11. A. Goldfrien, A. Wilson and W. Model Applied Pharmacology, Oxford University Press, 1974, p. 374 12. Ibid., p. 574 13. Ibid., p. 585 14. Ibid., p. 582 15. Awake May 1981, Vol. 62, No. 10, p. 10

10. Alan Norton,

16. Nicky Buckingham, 17. J. E. Wilkins,

The Fact on Drugs, Plainfield, N.Y., U.S.A., p 8 An Introduction To Sociology, MacDonald and Evans, 1976, p. 206

18. Microsoft Encarta Reference Library 2005, Microsoft Corporation, U.S.A.