Americas Coalition Puts Marijuana Legalization Up for Discussion. Retrieved from the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/18/world/americas/nations-in-americas-urged-to-consider-legalizing-pot.html?_r=0
Bakalar, N. (2006). Marijuana as Medicine: Consider the Pros and Cons,. The Mayo Clinic .
Lawrence Genen, M.M. (2012). Cannabis Compound Abuse. Medscape Reference .
National Instritute of Health. (2012, December). DrugFacts: Marijuana. Retrieved from National Institute on Drug Abuse: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana
Considering the magnitude of the worldwide illicit drug trade and its impact on the United States, take a position on American enforcement policy in the world. Analyze the impact that American drug enforcement has had on the international drug trade. Has it been effective?
The countries in which drug plants such as poppy (for opium and heroin) and cannabis (for marijuana), such drugs are smuggled into them. International drug trafficking is a billion-dollar business that grows each year.
Drugs trafficked on an international scale include heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine etc. It has been an accepted fact the drug use has adverse effects on the social fabric of culture and community. International illegal drug trade can often lead to transnational criminal organizations being set up and growing roots. Such organizations, when they have their roots deep enough, can threaten the political stability of a country. Hence, international drug trafficking presents the United States of America (USA) as well as the international community with a multitude of challenges and risks. In order to counter the possible adverse risks of international illegal drug trafficking as well as local illegal drug trafficking within the country, the U.S. government has launched a number of programs and policies in drug enforcement.
The U.S. government is famous for its "War on Drugs" which was started by President Richard Nixon in 1972 (Vulliamy, 2011), and enforcement of harsh drug trafficking policies. These policies on drugs are developed to combat both the demand as well as the supply of drugs. Ever since the programs against drug trafficking by the U.S. government have been developed and launched, there have been an increased number of arrests and incarcerations of drug dealers and drug lords (Winterbourne, 2012). To protect against the supply side of drug trafficking from international sources, there has been revisions in the foreign policy. There are labs set-up to check for the purity of the drug along with launching drug substitution programs. In order to counter the demand for the drugs, the users are charged fines, probationary periods, prohibition from use, incarcerations (for drug related offences), and attendance to awareness campaigns, compulsory rehabilitation, with support for the families with drug offenders. Each state in the U.S. has its own drug policy. The severity of the punishment varies with the amount and type of drug found in possession and use. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is the agency set up by the U.S. government to eradicate drug smuggling and use within the U.S.A. It falls under the U.S. Department for Justice. It aids in the development and implication of the foreign policy against drug trafficking (Messing & Hazelwood, 2012). It sent a couple of supporting military units to South America as well as Central Asia to destroy the growth of cocoa and opium used in drug trade (Mackie, 2012). The newest policies on drug enforcement include the programs launched for family and behavioral training towards drugs and its use, along with methods for getting rid of addiction for the users who want to go clean.
Although U.S. government has been waging the "War on Drugs" for over four decades now, there has been little success on the international drug trafficking scenario. The drugs are still being smuggled into the U.S.A. via South American countries. Even though there have been a number of small arrests, there hasn't been any one arrested that can shut down the operation. South American as well as Asian drug mafias exist and pose a threat as always. The health facilities that were setup to combat the addiction have, however, been doing well in providing treatment and support to the drug users and their families.
Mackie, S.S. (2012, July 31). Making money without marijuana: Afghan farmers enabled to grow legal crops. Retrieved from ARMY.MIL-Official Homepage of U.S. Army: http://www.army.mil/article/84667/
Messing, F.A., & Hazelwood, B.A. (2012). U.S. Drug Control Policy and International Operations . NDCF .
Vulliamy, E. (2011, July 24). Nixon's 'war on drugs' began 40 years ago, and the battle is still raging. Retrieved from the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jul/24/war-on-drugs-40-years
Winterbourne, M. (2012). United States drug policy: The scientific, economic and social issues surrounding marijuana. Stanford Social Sciences .
What method of treating a long-term abuser of narcotics would be most effective to helping the addict reach recovery?
Drug addiction is a disease that is difficult to combat and treat. The disease can be characterized as an uncontrollable, insatiable urge to consume the drug, even in the face of devastating circumstance and consequences. It would be safe to call it a chronic disease. Drug addiction affects more than one aspect of an individual's life, so it must be treated on different levels, each targeting an aspect of their complete well-being.
It is often the case that drug abusers suffer mental disorders as well. The most common of which is depression (Preidt, 2013). Hence, there must be psychotherapy available for such cases. It is difficult for the treatment programs to be effective and show results in a short span of time. Treatment of drug abusers requires long therapeutic sessions (Abuse, 2009). Effective treatment programs allow the drug user to maintain a drug-free lifestyle, to give up the use of the drug entirely, and function as a productive individual in the society as well as in his family and other relationships. An individual treatment plan must be reviewed and revised regularly, according to their changing needs. It must be kept in mind that, lapses occur often when an individual is undergoing a drug rehabilitation program, so it is necessary that the individual is monitored continuously throughout the duration of the program. And most importantly, before beginning any treatment course, the individual should be tested for diseases such as Hepatitis B & C, HIV / AIDS and other infectious diseases that may have been picked up by the individual as a result of one their drug induced stupors. Such diseases may require a different approach to counseling and treatment of the individual as well as their family members in order to deal with the disease and living a life with it.
There are two main treatment approaches: the medications approach and the behavioral approach. Most effective programs combine the two approaches in order to treat the drug abuse patient (Services). In the medication approach, the individual is given medications to combat their withdrawal symptoms which may result when the individual stops consumption of the drug. Such medications will reduce the cravings for the drug, and allow the patient to keep a sane head while going through rehabilitation. Further medications can be provided to un-do the damage done to the mind and body by the continued use of the drug in large doses. In case of the brain, the medicines help to re-establish normal neurological functions and prevent relapse ((NIDA), 2013). However, if the individual was prone to using more than one type of drug, than multiple medicines will have to be provided to them in order to combat each sort of drug effects. Most of the drugs work toward relieving the individuals of the constant cravings of the drug. Such medications allow the individual to disengage themselves from seeking the drug and other related criminal activities. As a result, the individual becomes much more receptive to behavioral treatments.
The behavioral treatment seeks to modify the attitude of the individual that might be associated to the drug abuse. It develops a sense of responsibility and healthy living skills in an individual. Most of the behavioral treatment is an outpatient process. Although in-patient behavioral treatment is mandatory for severe drug abuse cases in the beginning of the treatment program.
In out-patient treatment programs, the individuals may visit the rehabilitation clinic at intervals for their therapy sessions. The use of cognitive-behavioral therapy in such programs is used to ensure the patient cope and avoid getting caught up with drug related situations. Family therapies allow the families of the individuals as well the individual themselves, to interact and heal from the consequence of the drug abuse. Positive reinforcement is used to encourage the abstinence from drugs as well (Clinic, 2011).
With all these elements incorporated, an effective drug abuse treatment strategy can be cooked up. No one method is effective on its own. A combination of the two methods would have increased chances of success and benefit the individual overall.
(NIDA), N.I. (2013, April 03). NIH study sheds light on how to reset the addicted brain. Retrieved from National Institues of Health: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/apr2013/nida-03.htm
Abuse, N.I. (2009, September). DrugFacts: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction. Retrieved from National Institute on Drug Abuse: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction ic, T.M. (2011, August 23). Intervention: Help a loved one overcome addiction.…