Over the past decades, the problem of drug abuse has continued to present challenges to our government, our families, and the whole society in general. As an important component that drives and directs our society, the government has been developing several measures aimed at mitigating the challenge of drug abuse. With an array of multiple perspectives on how to handle the challenge of drug abuse, it may be difficult to measure the success of the government policy on drug abuse. However, despite the inroads that have been made with regard to mitigating the problems associated with drug abuse there is still a need to improve and increase efforts in dealing with specific issues.Still, it can be said with a measure of confidence that there is a need to improve on certain issues; which have been designed to mitigate the problem of drug abuse. Good intro, but awkward last sentence.
The policy problem
Over the past few decades, there has been an increase in the number of people in our society that abuse drugs. According to statistics from the US 111 million or about 51% of the population above 12 years of age were found to be users of alcohol. A further 31 million engage in binge drinking and a further 5.4% of the population reported to be heavy drinkers (Koenig, McCullough & Larson 2001). Another 6.4% of the population is reported to be users of some illicit drug with 29% of the population reported as regular cigarette smokers (Koenig, McCullough & Larson 2001). Some numbers would be good here, along with citations. Also, some definition of what drugs you are talking about…illegal prescription? Marijuana? Crack cocaine? Crystal meth and other “garage” drugs? Such a direction has escalated to such a degree that illegal drug substances have continues to penetrate the market despite a range of measures that have been established by our government to halt the movement of illegal drug substances (Kleiman et al., 2000). Being a big business, where billions of dollars are handled, the drug business has compromised a number of personalities and personnel in the government. For example, due to the huge profits associated with drug trafficking organized crime syndicates have emerged to offer protection and to assist in compromising law enforcement officers (Bean 2010). The drug trade has also seen the rise of corrupt practices such as the role of the informer. This is an individual who will offer useful information at a price. The link between informers and police provides an avenue for fast cash that has lured many law enforcement officers into the drug trade. what do you mean by this? Government officers profiting from/selling drugs? In the US? (Kleiman et al., 2000). As a result, it has increasingly become difficult to totally halt the drug business in our society. Drugs like cocaine still find their way to our ports and airports on transit to intended markets (Kleiman et al., 2000). While the majority of people in our jails with drug related offences have been found in possession of small quantities of drugs, the real suppliers and producers of drugs have remained difficult to capture and prosecute (Harold, 1990).
The problem of drug abuse needs to be handled through an effective and efficient public policy that would eliminate the repercussions of drug abuse in our society. One of the major repercussions of drug abuse has been an increase in a wave of crimes attributed to drug abuse; hence, compromising the security and wellbeing of citizens in our society (Harold, 1990). It has been observed that much of the petty and sometimes violent crimes such as mugging occur due to the pressure of addiction. (Hammersley 2008). It has been suggested that truancy or delinquent behavior has been reported as a risk factor that could lead to substance abuse. This could be due to the fact that both substance abuse and truancy are markers for underlying social problems. In addition to this truancy may facilitate substance use and abuse (Hammersley 2008). In addition to that it has been noted that violent crimes such as assault are more likely to occur when the perpetrator is a drug abuser. Mental illness is also more likely to occur among individuals with a history of substance abuse (Lowinson, Ruiz & Millman 2005) Good as a reason why abuse is a problem. problem. A bit more specificity would be better. What types of crime? Are they property crimes, which may be committed by people seeking money for drugs? Are they violent crimes? Gang-related? Related to the drug trade? Besides, the abuse of drugs has been shown to contribute significantly towards the degeneration of moral values, dignity, and the general wellbeing of affected individuals (Drug Detox, 2008). Good It is not just those who abuse drugs that face the negative impacts of their actions, friends, relatives, and our whole society in general has also felt the weight of drug abuse. Such is the case when a family encounters challenges like psychological breakdowns when a member of their family becomes an addict of a certain drug/drugs. As it can therefore be seen, there is a need for the government to continue and even improve on its public policy designed to mitigate the problem of drug abuse. Just to provide a clearer example, statistics from 2005 indicate that alcohol abuse was associated with close 100,000 preventable deaths. This figure when translated to monetary terms suggests that alcohol cost the American tax payers $185 billion (Lundy & Janes 2009). This is not considering $75 billion that smokers cost the American tax payer on an annual basis (Lundy & Janes 2009). Though the drug problem appears to be far with figures such as these it is clear that drug abuse has serious economic repercussions that warrant renewed effort to be put into the campaigns. Very good. A bit more on the impact of addiction on the public as a whole will be more convincing as to why this is a public problem and therefore amenable to a public policy solution. Addiction has economic consequences, etc., etc.
Addiction Science Network (2011) A primer on drug addiction. Web.
Andrews, T (2008). Substance Abuse, treatment and public safety Washington: McMillan
Apgar, R.K, et al. (2003) Successful strategies for the treatment of substance use Disorders New York: McMillan: 2003.
Bean, P. (2010). Legalizing Drugs: debates and dilemmas. Bristol: The Policy Press.
Hammersley, R. (2008). Drugs and Crime. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Koenig, H. G., McCullough, M. E., & Larson, D. B. (2001). Handbook of Religion and Health. New York: Oxford University Press.
Lowinson, J. H., Ruiz, P., & Millman, R. B. (2005). Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Lundy, K. S., & Janes, S. (2009). Community Health Nursing: Caring for the Publics Health. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
- Very good draft, Shon. This is exactly what you were supposed to be covering in this portion of your paper. Keep up the good work.
- You should do your best to make the changes I suggest when you re-submit this in final as part of your public policy paper due in M7.