Monday, November 1, 2010

Chapter 12: Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs

Chapter 12 focused on alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs as a concern to the community. The chapter discussed different types of drugs and different methods used on all three levels of prevention. There was also a lot of information on drug prevention organizations and where federal drug funding goes. What I became concerned with was why the two drugs causing the most damage are the legal ones.

At the begining of chapter 12, a lot was focused on showing the statistics and numbers that are associated with drugs. There was a list of total number of deaths and the costs associated with the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other illicit drugs on page 343. The bottom of the same page had a table with a list of 20 personal and community consequences of drug abuse. The first two pages focus on scaring the reader, not just informing them. After the initial scare, definitions are given.

There are both genetic and environmental factors that contribute to drug abuse. Environmental factors include personal, peers, sociocultural, and family. All of these factors play a role and if there are many different factors working together, a person is more likely to abuse. Personal factors include personality traits and susceptability to stress. Family also effects a child greatly. The values a child is instilled with young about drugs, can really impact their future.

Most of the chapter was devoted to the types of drugs and what can negatively result from using drugs. The chapter discussed both legal and illegal or illicit drugs. The legal drugs discussed were alcohol, nicotine, over the counter, and perscription. Alcohol and Nicotine were two of the biggest focus points in the chapter. This could be because both cause a seriously high number of deaths each year. Over the Counter Drugs are becoming more of an issue as people within the last 10 years have started to use them to cook crystal methamphetamine. Prescription drug abuse is also an issue on the rise. Here in Maine there is a large concern about this type of drug abuse. This could be contributed to accesibility of pharmacuticals.

The illicit drug that was focused on the most was marijuana. I found the argument given to be unconvincing and was unsurprised that the number of high school seniors who had smoked pot. The chapter went on to discuss narcotics, hallucinogens, stimulants, and depressants. There are many other types of drugs not listed in these categories, all of which remain a problem in the US.

There are multiple levels and types of prevention. There are many organizations on both state and federal levels that push the war on drugs. NIDA, the National Insitute on Drug Abuse is the largest institution in the world devoted to drug abuse research. The department of justice, the department of homeland security, and the department of education all also fight drug use. State agencies differ from state to state.

There are a few things that really got me thinking in this chapter. The first thing was that the two drugs we have the most issues with are ones that are legal. Another issue that I was concerned with was that Marijuana was a schedule one drug. This is reserved for drugs with no medical use. However, marijuana has been proven to help with many health concerns. I found the chapter to be very biased and not mention any of the good points.

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