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The War on Drugs in America - Research Paper Example

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The war on drugs in America has been touted for its many accomplishments in helping stop drug abuse. The war on drugs through successive governments has only been marginally successful. …
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The War on Drugs in America
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The War on Drugs in America

Download file to see previous pages... However, researchers agree that criminal activity in America and the rest of the world is strongly associated with drug availability and usage (Dobkin & Nicosia 2009). During the 90’s youth gangs surged all over United States. Interestingly, during the same time crack cocaine also became the drug of choice for many. Youth gangs high on crack brought the third and inevitable problem; gang related violence. In the 1960’s gangs were not involved in drug trafficking or abuse, but the rapid growth in the number of cocaine users led to the gang members not only becoming drug abusers but also getting involved in the trade of drug. This in turn brought crack cocaine in easy access of the masses, as even the street corner gangs started thinking of drug trade as an easy way of making money. Studies show that by the 1990’s gang members were involved in higher levels of drug use as compared to non-gang member population (Howell & Decker 1999). Of course, preceding decline in manufacturing jobs did not help the situation. Selling drugs was and still is considered a way of making quick money. Most of the new jobs created in the 80’s and 90’s were in suburbs. This left the inner city residents to fend for them and drug marketers were the only one providing work. Drugs affected the social life of these gang members in other ways as well. Firstly, their new economy forced them to rethink their pathways in life. The traditional work, marriage and family lifestyle was now out of question for many. These young gang members would no longer be influenced by norms and traditions. Instead, their gangs acted as families with social control over its members. This was followed by the violence. Gangs ferociously guarded their areas and turf wars broke out. Research into the relationship between drugs and violent crime has outlined three ways in which drugs can lead to violence. First, the pharmacological effects of a drug can make its user violent and secondly, violence occurs when an abusers is forced to commit violent crimes in order to secure financing for their expensive habit. Lastly, violence is the product of the drug system in which it is the only way of ensuring expansion of drug market share and protection from other market participants (Howell & Decker, 1999). Another side effect of drugs being sold on the street corner is that those who were already dealing with the harsh realities of life found an easy way out of their problems, even if it was for a little while. This led to many women to abuse drugs as well. The increase in prostitution can also be coincided with the increase of drugs in the American society. It is too, a never-ending cycle as prostitutes use drugs to deal with the humiliating aspects of their profession while indulging in it to finance their expensive habit of drug abuse (Young, Boyd & Hubbell 2000). Many people think that drug addicts simply lack the will to leave their addiction or they are morally corrupt because they consciously want to do all the bad things that happen. The reality is that drug addiction is a disease that alters the brain chemistry of a person making it impossible to simply wash the addiction away. Every year more than $600 billion are spent in health and crime costs related to drugs. However, even these numbers are insufficient to explain the harm caused by drugs to our society, as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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