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You are encouraged to post your required replies earlier in the week to promote more meaningful interactive discourse in this discussion. Evaluate and describe the quality of your colleague’s argument. How did he or she use the literature to support the statements made? Do you agree with the argument? Why, or why not? What insights did your colleague include which you had not considered? What might you suggest your colleague consider which was not included? Please use your research to support your assertions.

1st Lester

The problem with addiction is not the drugs, it is the addiction. Drug abuse is spreading like wildfires these days because of society becoming more accepting of drugs like marijuana. Lawmakers and society are changing the law to make marijuana legal, and lessening the punishment for being caught with it. Addiction professionals and research has shown that marijuana is a gateway drug and it generally leads into more addicting harder substances. The Stanton Peele Addiction Website wrote an article that states, “At the same time that not all drug use is addictive, addiction does not have to involve drugs. People can become addicted to powerful experiences such as sex, love, gambling, shopping, food—indeed, any experience that can absorb their feelings and consciousness. Addiction to the Internet is now in the spotlight, and before that came addiction to television and then video games.” (http://www.peele.net/lib/apyc01.html)

In regards to abusing drugs to the addict the benefits far outweigh the risks. For example, the addict’s main goal is to achieve that high at whatever cost. They typically do not care if they lose their loved ones or their freedom in the process. For an addict sometimes it is a blessing in disguise to get busted with drugs because they will be provided shelter, food, and their basic needs are met. On a personal note I had a close family member struggle with a crack addiction for many years, it cost him his family, his home, and his freedom. He would tell me all the time that deep down he would pray to get caught so that he could dry out in jail, and have a meal, but every time he was released within a month he went right back to his drug of choice. This is one of the reasons why I chose the field of substance abuse as my future career.

Addicts have learned that the fastest way to get their high is by snorting, smoking, or injecting the drug directly into their bloodstream, which makes heroin, and meth a powerful dangerous drug. When injected directly into the blood stream it takes mere seconds for the addict to feel the euphoria, it also makes it harder to judge the dosage and can lead to an increased risk of overdosing.

Our cultural goes from one extreme to the other when it comes to drug abuse. Pain pill, and marijuana are typically overlooked in society and is a bit more acceptable and tolerated in the communities and people say, “Oh, it’s just weed.” But if someone suffers from a cocaine addiction society typically looks down their noses and the addict is labeled as a crackhead. In my opinion, an addict is an addict. They are people just like us suffering from a disease that they need help to treat. I think our cultural forgets that and looks at addiction as a choice. Society views addiction as a choice, which at one point in time is true. When I suffered from addiction it was my choice to try cocaine for the first time, but by the time I became addicted it was no longer a choice, I had to use or suffer through horrific withdrawals, and it became necessary for me to use to survive. “Substance use disorder (SUD), also known as drug use disorder, is a condition in which the use of one or more substances leads to a clinically significant impairment or distress. Although the term substance can refer to any physical matter, ‘substance’ in this context is limited to psychoactive drugs. Addiction and dependence are components of a substance use disorder and addiction represents the most severe form of the disorder.” (volkow, 2016)

http://www.peele.net/lib/apyc01.html

Volkow ND, Koob GF, McLellan AT (January 2016). “Neurobiologic Advances from the Brain Disease Model of Addiction”. N. Engl. J. Med. 374 (4): 363–371.

2nd Keegan

Cocaine is often snorted in order to obtain an instant high. Though while the effects of cocaine happen quickly, they do not last very long. Cocaine works in three ways, and in doing so, is unique amongst all other drugs, “it is a potent local anesthetic; it is a vasoconstrictor, strongly constricting blood vessels and raising blood pressure; and it is a powerful psychostimulant” (Advokat,2014 Page 207). Long term users can and often experience cardiovascular maladies, such as heart attacks, strokes, and seizures.Even first time users can experience a fatal reaction to cocaine because of the three unique effects that the drug has on the body. Tolerance happens quickly with cocaine use, increasing the amount needed by the user.
The area I live in has a high abuse rate of Meth and Heroine. Both Meth and Heroin play havoc on the human body and are highly addictive, not to mention toxic if overdosed. Meth is often smoked or snorted and in a few instances, injected, which is the most toxic of all methods. Like heroin, when an injection is the method used, it is more difficult to control the amount used and since the results are almost instantaneous, there is little that can be done if overdosed. Meth can penetrate the blood brain barrier extremely fast, like cocaine but has a longer half-life than cocaine. Add to the fact that meth is significantly cheaper than cocaine, and it is easy to see why it is common is low-income areas.
It seems that our society stands at two polar opposites when in comes to drug use, addiction and punishment. Many blindly accept the idea that the “war on drugs” is working and that there should be strict punishment for even the smallest drug infractions. Many others believe, myself included, that the “war on drugs” has been counterproductive to the mission of reducing drug abuse and instead has created too many criminals, punishing those who need help the most. How many people do not seek treatment for their addiction out of fear of the criminal repercussions? Prisons and jails are filled with individuals convicted on small, petty possession charges, crowding them so there is little room for actual criminals. Instead of punishing addicts, we should be providing treatment and support. Instead, they are locked in places with others who can continue to provide the addiction. It is a lot easier to push a problem out of site than it is to actually deal with it, and that is exactly what we are doing by incarcerating petty drug offenses.
Many states, mine included, have begun to either decriminalize marijuana possession or completely legalize it. By doing so, they are reducing the amount of money and resources spent on these petty crimes and can allocate those funds elsewhere, such as in my state toward the state funded medical insurance and better drug education in classrooms. Our close minded and judgemental attitude toward the addict only continues to keep them from asking for help. It is easier to stay addicted than it is to face the scorn and disappointment from society and family.

Advokat, C. D., Comaty, J. E., & Julien, R. M. (2014). Julien’s primer of drug action: A comprehensive guide to the actions, uses, and side effects of psychoactive drugs (13th ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

 
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