Last Updated on November 20, 2021 by Ben Lesser
Drug policy tells us all about the classification of drugs and all their illegal practices, punishment, treatment aspect, and its rehab services. We can as well say that drug policy comprises civil penalties for the use of drugs, its prevention, and rehab services. Now going back to history, Illicit substances such as Opium, morphine, cocaine, and others were legal and popularly utilized in the American Civil War to the end of the nineteenth century. The scope of congressional authority was explained clearly through review by the judicial constitution.
James Madison, known as the “Father of the Constitution,” informed the states of their immense and limitless powers related to drug policy. At the same time, he argued the federal government’s powers to be not much and limited. Cocaine was also used in many soft drinks and wine and for some medicinal purposes. Even as compared to the crack epidemic of the 1980s, experts believe that the opiate crisis is by far our worst drug problem. In the United States, the problems extend beyond opiates, the ideal plan to control this has to be figured out. Federal Drug Policy takes care of the development of campaigns meant for the awareness and drug inhibition in regards to trafficking and controlling of the foreign drug market.
A Federal Perception of Addiction and Drug Policy
There are specific fines applied to certain substances. Milder substance users, such as cannabis, are punished less severely, whereas those who use harder drugs face severe punishment. Drug policy should be clearly stated so that offenders won’t have an excuse for ignorance. In California, for example, possessing less than 28.5 grams of marijuana for personal use carries a maximum punishment of only a $100 fine and no prison time. However, possession of any quantity of heroin can be considered a felony crime in the state according to the state’s drug policy.
Federal drug policy also comprises of the creation or development of awareness campaigns, drug trafficking inhibition, and as well cultivating rules and policies that would control the foreign drug market.
“Learning about drug policy would help you know the mind of government in regards to addiction and drug abuse”.
The Federal Stance on Drug Policy
Federal drug policy also comprises of the creation or development of awareness campaigns, drug trafficking inhibition, and as well cultivating rules and policies that would control the foreign drug market. There are drugs that carry a particular kind of penalty. For example, substances that are mild — e.g cannabis — has lighter punishments, and on the other hand, hard drugs come just with a tougher punishment. Now let’s take a look at this, having marijuana in your possession with quantities less than 28.5 grams in the California area and it is for personal use, comes with a maximum penalty of a mild fine of $100 which comes with no possible jail time. So, therefore, having any quantity of heroin may be seen as a felony according to the state drug policy.
Recent trends and reforms in federal drug policy reflect a broader view of what addiction is and is not. Addiction is an illness that affects people of all sorts and colors. It was seen as a moral problem, a lack of character, and a lack of willpower. In 2009, 60 percent of non-Hispanic Caucasians and 21% of non-Hispanic African Americans admitted for drug abuse care were non-Hispanic Caucasians. But the fact remains that no race or no one is above the law, so Drug policy cut across all races.
Drug policy now emphasizes programs that facilitate prevention and recovery. A good number of individuals an inclination to addiction is what predetermines if a person will ever have an addiction problem. Children nurtured by alcoholic parents, for example, have a raised quadrupled risk of becoming alcoholics themselves. Education serves as a tool for the goal achievement which is the prevention of substance addiction. And when one is educated on the government Drug policy, it will help cut addiction.
“Enlightening the people on Drug policy will help reduce offenders and help build a more viable society. This act alone would bring about fewer offenders and a drug-free clean society”.
The Improved Drug Policy
The improved drug policy also takes into cognizance of the vital need to care for addicts. A single 2.6 million people were treated for problems of substance abuse, however, while a whopping sum of 23.5 million people still awaits treatment for substance in 2009. The recent policy on drugs intends to raise the number of people in search of care by creating greater availability of treatment services to those who abuse alcohol and addicts around the nation.
As was stated previously, several actions of drug policy, legalization and decriminalization have already begun to overwhelm the criminal justice system of the U.S. It should not be lost of memory that in the majority of the states, these policies related to marijuana have already produced lesser occasions of arrests. A good example is Washington, in which misdemeanor cases for the possession of marijuana dropped rather abruptly in the first full year after the legalization of the drug in limited quantities, from 5,531 in 2012 to just 120 in 2013. Drug policy is not created to harm offenders but it is created for correction the inhibition of Drug abuse.
There are campaigns organized to generate concerns about the trafficking of drugs and the cultivation of the drug market which is a top priority, likewise ridding oneself of the stigma associated with drug and alcohol misuse and addiction is among the other critical goals introduced by the drug policy reform initiative.
Addiction Is Rampant in Present Day’s Culture in America. the Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse and Addiction Are Written as Follows:
- Withdrawal symptoms avoidance
- Loss of self-control relating to drug use
- Dependency and habituation to drug use
- Social reclusion
- Inability and powerlessness to discontinue drug use
Steps of Legalization and Decriminalization
There have been contentions raised in recent years about the necessity of imposing strict penalties on offenses involving less dangerous substances reflecting in stricter drug policy. Furthermore, both society and Congress have debated whether lighter sentences — or none at all — would potentially reduce the use of such drugs. Marijuana legalization and decriminalization are now a reality. Although this pattern has not yet spread across the country, it is expected to do so soon. Even with the stiff drug policy, a 2013 poll indicates that 58 percent of Americans favor legalizing marijuana for personal use.
Currently, 23 states, including Washington, DC, sanction medical marijuana use in their drug policy, and 17 have decriminalized it, with Colorado and Washington approving it for recreational use in limited quantities. These sanctions are only one of the many responsibilities of drug agencies in the United States. Although these legalizations were included in revisions to the national drug policy in 2012, the U.S. government does not regard legalization as a heroic initiative. Proponents of legalization and decriminalization often claim that if drugs were not illegal, they would be less concerned.
Legalization supporters usually state that legalizing drugs would cause a reduction in the number of people arrested for obtaining drugs illegally. While the legalization of illicit drugs would cause a reduction in the number of people arrested and imprisoned, it does not invariably imply a reduction in crimes related to drugs. Rather, the government will hold off penalizing specific activities which are stated in the drug policy.
A good example is that the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana in some states create room for the ownership in a minute of the drug without fear of legal repercussions. Theses are measures made to make sure that the drug policy is effective.
However, in most nations, more significant numbers, trafficking, sale, and manufacturing are still illegal. Many who violated the drug policy will remain in jail or prison. Similarly, those in legalized states which have limited quantities of marijuana will not be charged, but they will continue to possess and use the drug. Do legalization and decriminalization of the drug policy shift the emphasis away from the ongoing behavior? The response is ambiguous.
Criticisms of these ideologies are bothered that these accomplishments would only strengthen the drug use in question, and this is not far-fetched. Now talking about parents who are not strict about drug policy, children raised by permissive parents who are not strict about such subjects are more likely to engage in behaviors indicating substance abuse and also in the violation of the drug policy of the nation. Similarly, 65 percent of adolescents who experimented with marijuana once or more claimed they would engage in it more if it were legalized, so did 78 percent of heavy adolescent marijuana users.
Foreign policy plays a significant role in what happens in the states. And this is why the US set its gaze on foreign policy while creating drug policy. The most dangerous drugs to enter the U.S. from outlying nations are cocaine and heroin. Former stems derived from Coca plants, cultivated mainly in the nations of Andean located in Columbia, Peru, and Bolivia. Up to 90 percent of the cocaine found in America comes from this area. Heroin is produced from the latex-like resin extracted from opium poppy pods, which are mainly cultivated in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Afghanistan, where the bulk of the U.S. supply comes from, but also in Mexico, which generates 7% of the world’s heroin supply, the majority of which ends up in the U.S. This is the more reason why the US. is focusing its gaze on foreign policy and hereby enacting a more effective drug policy.
Even with this, a drug policy to control opiates was made. The version of opiates that was described is presently wreaking much more havoc as opposed to heroin. In the year 2010, the estimation of prescribed opioid painkillers amounting to 210 million was written. Furthermore, these drugs were rated first in all opiates categories, visits to the emergency rooms in 2010, with 135,971 visits. Unfortunately, these drugs are easier to obtain, with 27% of individuals who misuse or abuse their medicine cabinet’s drug policy to obtain their opioid pain relievers.
Beneath the curtains, addiction is possibly a repercussion of government-sanctioned medical procedures and drug policy. Some schools of thought and drug policies believe the medical profession is to be blamed for the continuation of writing prescriptions for these highly addictive drugs without notifying patients or presenting them with the alternative of switching to anything less addictive, like anti-inflammatory medicines, corticosteroids, or acetaminophen. The government interference is to create drug policy that will control the movement, use and availability of these substances and most of all protect the citizens from harm.
The government plays several roles in drug control across the world through the drug Policy. The official commencement of the War on Drugs was during President Richard Nixon’s term in office in 1971. Other leaders have borne the torch with some success over the years, but they have not been without criticism. President Barack Obama is now focusing his attention on prescription medication misuse. In the United States, heroin and prescription pain relieving drugs have gotten to the epidemic levels of misuse and violence and this brought about some updates in the US drug policy.
Just about 669,000 people confessed to using heroin in the previous year in 2012. Although the distinction between the two is often blurred, heroin-related crimes and deaths are more often in the press and on social media platforms; there has been much talk about it than those involving its prescription equivalent which should be stated in the drug policy. Similarly, the thought of injecting an illegal substance is naturally more disturbing than obtaining it from a legally written prescription by a trusted physician.
Drug addiction treatment protocols have also sparked much political skepticism. More contemporary opiate-based drug forms emerge, and the FDA accepts them as medicinal remedies for the latest wrath of opiate abusers, as is the case for all opiate-based medications. Methadone and buprenorphine are currently approved by drug policy to treat heroin and opioid painkiller addictions, respectively. The former has a 60 to 90 percent success rate, while the latter has an 88 percent success rate, but data on both have been mixed.
The Rehab and Reformation Merits of The American Drug Policy
Indeed, not all drug enforcement decisions have resulted in harmful consequences. Reforming drug Policy aimed at offenders is one such initiative. Thousands of would-be inmates have been granted second opportunities through drug dependency treatment and recovery rather than serving time in jail due to changes in drug policy. According to research, 67 percent of Americans want the government to focus more on providing care for hard drug criminals, such as those who possess or sell cocaine and heroin, rather than locking them up, which only 26 percent endorse. Apart from the discipline aspect, there are also rooms to rehabilitate these people. Creating rehab facilities is paramount in taking care of people who are already victims of drug abuse, the drug policy are not created only to give them penalties but as well take care of them and keep them clean from drug.
Classification of Drugs
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) heads of the class of drugs in regards to drug policy. To look at it from a different perspective, if there is sufficient reason and adequate funding, the FDA is the agency to approach. The FDA has the final verdict on product safety and if a product qualifies to be called a drug. The method of classification is determined by following rigid definitions of drug and computer constituents — the material must fall into a category. The Drug Enforcement Agency has the duty of putting hazardous and controlled drugs on the schedule and is enormously important in drug policy creation.
Loopholes in The Law
Unfortunately, keeping up with any new drug that hits the market is nearly impossible for the government. Drug companies are well informed of the existing drug Policy and are prepared to distribute the most up-to-date version of a drug as soon as it is outlawed. Spice is an excellent example. Synthetic weed, also known as K2, is made up of dried leafy materials sprayed with a synthetic THC copycat compound. These drugs were first released into the market in late 2008, and their popularity rapidly increased. In 2013, this synthetic form of marijuana resulted in 2,668 calls to poison control centers. Drug companies need to be very careful so the raging hammer of drug policy doesn’t hit them.
The medication and five of the chemicals used made the Drug Enforcement Administration outlaw/ drug policy in 2011 after a series of deaths and harmful side effects. This prohibition was in response to numerous erratic activity incidents and unexpected deaths. Nonetheless, versions began to emerge that skirted the judicial jargon just enough to be sold and used legally. Finally, in 2012, the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act was passed empowering the drug Policy, classifying synthetic drugs as Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act and prohibiting the manufacture, selling, or use of any identical product nature to one that is already prohibited.
It seems to be working so far. The owner of one of the several stores that openly marketed synthetic drugs was arrested and sentenced to 17.5 years in jail in August of 2014. He was arrested because a working and effective drug policy is on the ground.
When it comes to enforcing drug policy, bath salts are yet another drug that tends to weave through legality cones. Like many other synthetic products, shady ads can make an otherwise harmful product look like an everyday household object. Bath salts, for example, first appeared on the drug scene in the 1960s but have recently reinvented themselves after being discovered on U.S. soil for the first time in 2008. They were widely sold as commonplace substances like incense before the federal ban on the drugs was enforced in 2012according to the dictates of the drug policy, after the drugs took lives and have serious side effects on certain people.
Five hundred eighty-three bath salt users registered agitation, an elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, and hallucinations as side effects between January 2010 and April 2014. Occurrences like this make drug policy paramount and effective in society.
Unpleasant consequences from using such drugs, such as those listed above, are the major solicitors of changing drug policy. The negative effects of using these substances could stir the pot enough to bring about legislative changes. And that’s the more reason drug policy has to be taken seriously.
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Written by O’Connor, A. “Innovative Ways to Loosen Addiction’s Grip.” (2004 August 3). New York Times publication. Accessed November 30, 2014
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 “Owner of Now-Closed Duluth Head Shop Gets 17 Years for Synthetic Drug Sales.” (2014 August 14). Published by the KSTP ABC News. Accessed November 30, 2014
Written by Maxwell, J. “With Synthetic Drugs, Ignorance Really Could Cost You.” (May 20). Published by the University of Texas at Austin. Accessed November 30, 2014
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.