A drug is a substance that could absorb in the body of a living organism and it has the capability to impact the functions of the body (World Health Organization). It is important to note that no precise definition of drug has been given because it is a broad term and it is difficult to be defined (Dictionary.com).
Pharmacology describes drug as a chemical substance that can be used for treatment, cure, diagnosis or prevention of diseases. Moreover, mental and physical well-being can also be enhanced using drug. It is interesting to note that drugs can be used for a short period or long period time depending on the disease and scenario. (Chalasan, Fontana and Bonkovsky)
It is important to note that there is another category of drugs that are called recreational drugs. Recreational drugs could impact the central nervous system such as hallucinogens or opioids. More precisely, they can be used for the perceived benefits of behavior, personality, perception and consciousness (Chalasan, Fontana and Bonkovsky). The use of such drugs can cause addiction or it can become a habit. Such drugs are banned mostly and they cannot be used legally without the prescription (DeGrandpre).
Drug abuse has become a threat to most of the developed and developing countries including United States of America (US) (DeGrandpre). Drug abuse can be regarded a disorder that involves the destructive use of particular drug for perceptual benefits. It can cause severe consequences and, mostly, people abuse drugs in depression or other significant psychological problems. It has become a threat to modern world as teens are actively found in drug abuse and this number is increasing day by day (Dryden-Edwards and Stöppler).
Drug addiction is regarded as the dependency on the substance that can lead to drug abuse or other severe consequences. It cause of tolerance or withdrawal, the user do not feel normal and it can cause several other diseases. It also involves creating social problems such as impacting work and performance. (Dryden-Edwards and Stöppler)
It is important to note that several governments are taking strict actions to stop drug addiction and drug abuse. But, it is important to note that efforts to reduce drug addiction and abuse are not very successful because the increasing stress and depression in modern way of life. There are different strategies used by governments to stop drug abuse and drug addiction. First of all, the government devises effective and efficient legislative system to implement strict punishments to the suppliers of such drugs that could be abused or used for addictive purposes. The government attempts to break the supply chain of such drugs. Pharmaceutical firms and companies are taken under direct observation of government authorities to avoid misuse of drugs. On the customer side, different hospitals and correctional facilities are established that offer treatment to drug addicts. The governments actively advertise and promote to increase awareness about the negative consequences and problems that are caused by drug addiction and drug abuse. (Meyer)
It is interesting to note that different governments are taking strategic initiatives to control drug abuse and drug addiction but it seems that their effort is not enough or their strategy is not effective to control and overcome drug abuse and drug addiction (Meyer). A term is used by used by American government that is “War on Drugs” for representing actions and initiatives taken by the federal government to control drug abuse and drug addiction in different states of America. Such programs in governments are to control the import, manufacture, sale and use of illegal drugs (Head). But, it is noted that the governments are just using such terms and conditions to create novelty and fantasy in their initiatives while the actions taken by the different governments across the world are extremely ineffective to control drug abuse and drug addiction.
The governments should review and evaluate their strategies to control drug abuse because the budgets of most of the governments have increased over the past few years to control drug abuse but the drug abuse has dramatically increased over the past few years (National Coalition for Effective Drug Policies). Internationally, drug abuse has increased over the last few years while their importing, buying and availability have become more easy and convenient (Meyer). Moreover, health threats caused by drug abuse are increasing as more and more people are suffering from HIV/AIDS, heart diseases, and several severe diseases (Chalasan, Fontana and Bonkovsky). Such problems have increased the government costs as well as environmental costs that is becoming a risk for humans day by day. An effective international policy change and strategic analysis can generate an international effort to control and eradicate drug abuse and addiction. The resources are needed to be deployed effectively and efficiently because the inefficiency of the same is causing extra cost burdens and threats for no good. A large amount of funds are being demanded and raised by different governments to control drugs but it is useful until or unless their strategy is ineffective.
First of all, the resources must be deployed strategically and efficiently to control drug abuse. In most of the nations, the governments take drug abuse as a law enforcement issue (National Coalition for Effective Drug Policies). But, more interestingly, the police in different nations have played their role in achieving record arrests, record incarceration, and drug seizure. This effort did not generate results but rather the issue of drug abuse became more worsen. It means that resources are available but there is a need to deploy them effectively and efficiently to control the issue. The government spending on this program is large and, as mentioned earlier, they are taking this as law enforcement issue. It can be analyzed that the governments are working effectively on the supply side such as arresting dealers, interdiction, and incarnation but they are utilizing less resources on the supply side such as educating, treating, preventing, and researching buyers. The resources must be effectively deployed on both the demand and supply side to control and overcome the issue of drug abuse.
Some governments are offering treatments to only some of the drug abusers and they are not covering all the people who need treatment to leave the drugs (National Coalition for Effective Drug Policies). They are only offering abstinence-based treatment but they should also include treatment for methadone and other forms of substances that are used as alternative medicine drugs. The most important thing is that the resources of almost all the governments are focusing on physical treatment of drug abusers but no one is focusing on the mental treatment. Mental treatment needs to be focused because it is the willpower that motivates the abusers to leave drug addiction and drug abuse.
Investments of governments to control drug are not optimized. Mostly, a mass marketing is targeted in awareness campaigns regarding drug abuse. The resources need to be focused and it is recommended that youngsters should be targeted more in such advertisement campaigns because the youngsters are mostly addicted of drugs (National Coalition for Effective Drug Policies). By directly addressing the audience like youngsters that is a victim of drug abuse would make the resources more optimally utilized.
It is trend that mostly middlemen or front end criminals are being arrested those sell drugs to people. There is an issue in developing countries that mostly the influential criminals or top-level criminals engaged in drug abuse can easily flee because the political corruption is at its peak in some developing countries. There is a need to catch the big fish in the ocean rather than focusing on front end. The US government and other governments must devise strategies to capture criminals who control drug suppliers and not only the front end criminals or middlemen.
It is important to note that some lifesaving drugs or other important medicines can be used as an alternative for drug abuse (Chalasan, Fontana and Bonkovsky). To be very honest, there is not much governmental or legislative control over the supply of such medicines. More precisely, such medicines are available easily in stores and anyone can go buy them as well as abuse them (Dryden-Edwards and Stöppler). Misuse of such medicines cause threats for the people because they are used as an alternative. The governments must focus on limiting supply of such medicines to general public. Such medicines must be under direct government’s observation and such medicines must be sold only to a person having an authentic doctor’s prescription.
Moreover, there is an issue of injustice and inequality in the social system of most of the developing countries that enable the large criminals to use their influence to flee from law. Such issues must be resolved and the system weaknesses must be removed in the such countries because justice can enable the “war on drugs” as law enforcement otherwise such control cannot be implemented as law enforcement.
In the above discussion, some structural weaknesses in efforts to control drug abuse were identified and analyzed. Different recommendations were made by reviewing the international effort to control drug abuse. An effective deployment of resources and an efficient international strategy can save the humanity from the threat of drug abuse.
Chalasan, Naga, et al. “Causes, Clinical Features, and Outcomes From a Prospective Study of Drug-Induced Liver Injury in the United States.” Gastroenterology (2008): 1924-1934.
DeGrandpre, Richard. The Cult of Pharmacology: How America Became the World’s Most Troubled Drug Culture. New York: Duke University, 2006.
Dictionary.com. Drug. 2012. 24 January 2012 <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/drug>.
Dryden-Edwards, Roxanne and Melissa Conrad Stöppler. Drug Abuse and Addiction. 24 January 2012. 24 January 2012 <http://www.medicinenet.com/drug_abuse/article.htm>.
Head, Tom. Key Facts About the War on Drugs. 2012. 15 February 2012 <http://civilliberty.about.com/od/drugpolicy/p/War-on-Drugs-Facts.htm>.
Meyer, Robert J. Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse. 2011. 24 January 2012 <http://www.fda.gov/newsevents/testimony/ucm114804.htm>.
National Coalition for Effective Drug Policies. Eight Steps to Effectively Controlling Drug Abuse And the Drug Market . 2007. 15 February 2012 <http://www.csdp.org/news/news/8steps.htm>.
World Health Organization. “WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. Sixteenth Report.” Technical report series. No. 407. Geneva: World Health Organization, 1969.