Us Has High Levels Of Illegal Drug Use
In spite of stringent drug policies and punitive laws, the United States also has high levels of lifetime illegal drug use. A 2018 study found that the United States has illicit drug use rates among the highest in the world. Eastern European nations, however, report the highest rates of alcohol consumption.
According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted annually by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration , 13% of people in the U.S. aged 12 and over used any illicit drug within the last month.
Unscrupulous Us Pharma Companies Are Exporting The Opioid Epidemic Abroad
Opioid prescribing in multiple Western countries has risen significantly over the past decade, though not yet to U.S. levels. The more explosive growth is in middle- and low-income countries.
Much of the new growth is fueled by U.S. companies, including Mundipharma, which like Purdue Pharma is owned by the Sackler family. Purdue drove early stages of the U.S. opioid crisis by promoting OxyContin in misleading and unethical ways, notably misrepresenting its risk of addiction when used to treat chronic, non-cancer pain. Likewise, Mundipharma has actively lobbied to open up European countries to greater opioid prescribing, as well as sponsored doctors to promote prescription opioids and deny their high potential for addiction. It has also set up and financed ostensibly patient-led groups to advocate greater access to opioids. In Poland, this has produced new legislation allowing any doctor, not merely specialty pain doctors, to write opioid prescriptions. In Italy, Mundipharmas business practices have already triggered police and legal investigations. Some Western European companies, such as Germanys Grunenthal, have copied Mundipharmas tactics.
Myth #: Substance Addiction Is Voluntary
Yes, a person decides whether to use a drug, but that does not make drug abuse or addiction voluntary. Over time, continued use of any addictive substance changes the brain. Sometimes these changes are dramatic, but in most cases, they are subtle. The change results in compulsive and sometimes uncontrollable drug use.
This is one reason why treatment is more beneficial versus incarceration. Imprisonment punishes an individual for their actions, but it cannot undo the physical and psychological changes caused by drug use. It takes time and treatment to overcome addiction.
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Lesson : The Rules Under Which Opioids Are Prescribed Matter
The number-one per capita consumer of opioids in the world is the U.S., and Canada is third. Germany is second, but by all accounts it does not have an opioid epidemic. Why not?
Germanys high per capita opioid consumption rate is driven by extensive use of opioids in institutional settings . But unlike in Canada and the United States, in Germany prescriptions for chronic non-cancer pain are uncommon for people living outside of medical facilities. Only 4.5% of Germans living in the community receive an opioid prescription each year, versus 20% of Canadians. This means that in Germany, there is far less medically unsupervised opioid use and far fewer opioid pills accumulating in medicine cabinets, where they can be accessed by people other than the intended patient.
Its not just the volume of opioid prescribing that matters, but where and how opioids are prescribed and used.
The international data thus suggest that its not just the volume of opioid prescribing that matters, but where and how opioids are prescribed and used. It was the combination of expanded prescribing under conditions of minimal patient oversight that proved problematic in the U.S. and Canada.
What Are The Socioeconomic Consequences
The opioid epidemic is having devastating consequences on other aspects of public health, causing high rates of hepatitis C, HIV, and other diseases, mainly due to shared syringes. Meanwhile, mothers could pass an opioid dependency on to their children if they use while pregnant. Incidences of neonatal abstinence syndrome, or withdrawal symptoms experienced by newborns exposed to drugs while in the womb, jumped by more than 80 percent between 2010 and 2017. The opioid crisis likely also contributed to an uptick in the number of children in foster care.
Opioids have also taken a toll on the economy. Testifying before the U.S. Senate in 2017, Janet Yellen, then chair of the Federal Reserve, linked the opioid epidemic to among prime-age workers. Late Princeton University economist Alan Krueger wrote that it could account for 20 percent of the among men and 25 percent among women from 1999 to 2015.
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Art And Music Therapy
Art and music therapy help us reveal our subconscious thought that can be therapeutic. It works the same way psychotherapy works. This therapy enables the client to express themselves in a very relaxed and calm setting. It helps to reduce muscle tension and anxiety.
During this treatment, many times patients reveal how they feel and it helps them connect with the therapist more on an emotional level. This will for sure help you process your traumatic experience and reduce the tension associated with the problem.
What Is The United States Doing To Reduce Demand
Previous federal antidrug campaigns relied on incarceration to deter drug use and trafficking. This approach has been widely criticized for failing to keep people from cycling in and out of prison and for disproportionately targeting Black Americans. In recent years, federal and state officials have shifted toward prevention and treatment.
President Barack Obama reduced prison sentences for hundreds of nonviolent drug offenders during his tenure. However, he failed to secure legislation that would have eliminated mandatory minimum sentences for federal drug crimes. His administration also established hundreds of new drug courts, which proponents say are an effective alternative to incarceration. Drug courts, the first of which was launched in 1989, under the George H.W. Bush administration, provide nonviolent offenders an alternative to the criminal justice system that involves monitoring and rehabilitation services rather than prison time. In 2016, Obama signed legislation authorizing more than $1 billion in funding, largely in the form of state grants, to expand opioid treatment and prevention programs.
In recent years, federal and state officials have shifted toward prevention and treatment.
Some city and local governments have launched what are known as harm-reduction programs, which focus on limiting virus transmission and overdoses through the promotion of safer drug use. Critics of such programs argue that decriminalization would lead to higher rates of drug use.
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When A Loved One Has A Drug Problem
If you suspect that a friend or family member has a drug problem, here are a few things you can do:
Speak up. Talk to the person about your concerns, and offer your help and support without being judgmental. The earlier addiction is treated, the better. Dont wait for your loved one to hit rock bottom! List specific examples of your loved ones behavior that have you worried and urge them to seek help.
Take care of yourself. Stay safe. Dont put yourself in dangerous situations. Dont get so caught up in someone elses drug problem that you neglect your own needs. Make sure you have people you can talk to and lean on for support.
Support organizations, professional help
Do Other Countries Have A Drug Epidemic Like America
The United States is currently in the grips of a powerful drug epidemic, lead by prescription opioids and heroin. New studies are constantly being released that show the disturbing and record breaking magnitude of increased drug use, drug addiction, and drug overdose deaths. The overdose death rate in 2008 was four times the rate of 1999 and there is little hope that problem is getting any smaller. In fact, drug overdose deaths rose nearly 20% just from 2015 to 2016 and drug overdose is now the leading preventable cause of death among American adults.
The United States is not the only country in the grip of a drug epidemic though. Today, all around the world, many countries are trying to figure out ways to reduce crime, public health costs, and preventable deaths caused directly by sharp increases in drug abuse. In Europe, addict-friendly tactics in favor of addiction treatment and harm reduction centers, like supervised injection sites, are gaining popularity and funding. On the other hand, the Philippines has launched an aggressive and bloody drug war aimed at simply executing drug users, dealers, and smugglers alike. Regardless of the tactics used, organized criminal organizations worldwide are becoming more sophisticated, resulting in increased drug smuggling and manufacturing to feed an ever-growing demand.
So, what are the countries with biggest drug problems?
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Substance Abuse Treatment Could Save Billions
Whats the difference between one million versus one billion? From a purely mathematical point of view, the number of zeros makes the difference. But in reality, saving billions versus millions is HUGE.
By sending substance-abusing prisoners to community-based treatment programs, there would be an immediate reduction in incarceration costs. But the benefit of choosing substance abuse treatment over incarceration doesnt stop there. The receipt of proper, professional treatment and counseling offers the potential of addressing the root cause of drug related crimes. As a result, re-arrest and re-incarceration occurrences would drop.
According to the journal Crime and Delinquency, if just 10 percent of eligible offenders were sent to community-based substance abuse treatment programs, the criminal justice system would see a $4.8 billion savings in comparison to current practices. Researchers concluded that if 40 percent of eligible offenders were granted this type of treatment, the savings would total nearly $13 billion!
Myth #: Drug Treatment Is A One
Drug addiction isnt like the flu. A victim cannot be vaccinated or magically cured in one session. Drug abuse is like any other illness its typically a chronic disorder. Some can quit cold turkey, while others will need more than a single treatment.
Substance abuse counseling isnt a one-shot deal, which means drug treatment isnt either. It took months, even years, to develop the addiction. It will likewise take time to positively address and see tangible results. But the cost and benefits of treatment far outweigh incarceration. Wouldnt it be better to visibly see people in our communities kick the habit and crime rates reduce without dumping tax dollars into an unproductive system?
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A True Story Of Addiction And Greed
Macys book focused on the rise of the opioid epidemic in Lee County, Virginia, the states westernmost area. Its coal-mining country and part of Appalachia.
In the Hulu miniseries created by Danny Strong and co-executive produced by Macy the story focuses on the fictional town of Finch Creek in the same region.
The story is really tracking true, Macy told Healthline.
She notes that many of the characters in the show from Sister Beth Davies, who runs the Addiction Education Center in downtown Pennington Gap, Virginia, to Purdue Pharma head Richard Sackler are real people.
The title of the series refers more to the challenge of recovering from an opiate addiction than getting addicted in the first place.
Dopesick is a term used by people who use drugs to describe the daunting physical and mental barriers to quitting the point at which users arent taking opiates to get high as much as to avoid the agony of withdrawal.
Macy said people addicted to opiates some resulting from overprescription by doctors for legitimate injuries and pain deserve sympathy and help.
We need to stop thinking of people with a medical condition as criminals, she said.
Dopesick primarily focuses on the late 1990s and 2000s, as Purdue Pharma aggressively marketed OxyContin to doctors and reports began streaming in about the drugs high potential for addiction and overdose.
However, the deal also granted the Sacklers immunity from liability lawsuits.
Drug Addiction Statistics In The Us
We are a nation in crisis.
There is hardly a family that has not been affected by addiction. The statistics on the matter of opioids, alcohol and marijuana are alarming:
105 American lives are lost each day to an opioid-related overdose. 1 in 8 Americans experience an alcohol addiction 1 in 8 American smoke marijuana as legalization rolls out across the states.
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How Do Police Deal With Drug Possession Around The World New Insights From The Gds2017
Founder Global Drug Survey and Consultant Psychiatrist
Dr Caitlin Hughes
Senior Research Fellow, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Australia
Getting caught with drugs can be a very stressful event in peoples lives. Criminal records for personal possession of drugs can ruin careers and opportunities and costs the police and legal system considerable time and money for uncertain gain. While we know a lot about how different drug laws operate across the globe we know very little about how often people who use drugs are stopped by police and the similarities and differences in policing experiences across the globe. Collaborating with Dr Caitlin Hughes a criminologist and drug policy expert at the University of New South Wales Australia, GDS2017 sought to fill this gap by providing the first global estimate of how many people who use drugs were stopped by police in relation to their drug use or other drug related behaviour in the last 12 months, the demographics of those stopped, the punitiveness of any drug-related police encounters and any country differences.
How Some Countries Are Cracking Down On Addiction
At this time, the United States is in the midst of an opioid addiction epidemic the likes of which it has never seen before. For almost twenty years, our nation has experienced a gradually increasing trend in opioid addiction, thanks in part to a compounded introduction and increase in opioid pain reliever pharmaceuticals and a resurgence in heroin trafficking and abuse.
Lets look at some of the numbers on this. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are currently twenty-four million Americans who are addicted to drugs and alcohol across the United States. A number this significant represents about fourteen percent of the U.S. adult and adolescent population. And of those twenty-four million, it is thought that the majority of them have either tried opioids or are currently misusing opioids.
And this just represents the sheer number of people who have fallen prey to an addictive habit. Imagine now, with overdose statistics being as high as they are, the sheer death toll in America because of drugs and alcohol. It is quite significant. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sixty-four-thousand, nine-hundred people died from drug overdoses and alcohol poisoning in 2016, and numbers for 2017 have not even been fully tabulated yet.
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An Improved Strategy To Fight Drug Trafficking Organized Crime And Corruption In The Hemisphere
IntroductionIn 2017, with support from the Ford Foundation, Global Americans convened a High-Level Working Group on Inter-American Relations and Bipartisanship, comprising former policymakers, business leaders, civil society leaders and scholars, to discuss bipartisan and cross-regional ways that the current U.S. administration can build and improve upon the achievements of the past two decades of inter-American relations.
Our group, representing civil society, academia, and the policymaking and business communities in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean, has produced an initial series of papers laying out members consensus opinions on the topics of:
- Economic integration and trade
- Combating organized crime and narcotics trafficking
- Greater U.S.-Latin American collaboration on anti-corruption
- Expanding and improving education exchanges in the Americas
- Extra-hemispheric actors
Future topics will include rebuilding Venezuela and re-thinking development assistance.
The initial set of policy topics addressed by the working group reflects a long-standing hemispheric and bipartisan consensus on the key areas that have helped to secure U.S. and hemispheric economic, diplomatic and security interests. All of these topics are inter-related. But rather than address them collectively, we decided to narrow our focus to specific, constructive, and actionable issues and recommendations.
The impact of organized crime
Denmark’s ‘fix Rooms’ Give Drug Users A Safe Haven
There’s a philosophy book on a concrete stoop next to a middle-aged man who’s smoking crack cocaine. He gives his name as Rui and says the stigma against addicts has eased since decriminalization.
“Now, not so much. It’s less, because the methadone is coming, and people are treating this problem,” he says. “They see the drugs with another perspective.”
Every day, a government van pulls up and gives him a dose of methadone, an opioid that helps wean people off of heroin. It’s a step toward harm-reduction. He still does cocaine, but no longer shoots up.
Drug-related HIV infections in Portugal have dropped 95 percent.
Drug workers hand out packets with clean needles and condoms and listen to another addict, Antonio, describe his anxiety.
“If the drugs hurt too much my body, I escape a little, and then I come back again,” he says. “But it’s a world I cannot escape! If I turn there, it’s there it’s everywhere. I cannot escape.”
For every person in Portugal who cannot escape addiction, there’s daily methadone, counseling and free treatment. A generation ago, these addicts were put in jail. Now they’re on the street.
But polls show the Portuguese having lived through the ravages of a heroin epidemic overwhelmingly support this policy.
Correction April 22, 2017
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Countries Have Successfully Changed Their Drug Laws And Approach To Enforcement And Addiction
1. Portugal: The first country in the European Union to decriminalize all drugs has seen a . While there are still small fines for selling drugs, the countrys focus is on rehabilitation, harm reduction and treating addiction as a disease.
2. Ecuador: In the 80s and 90s, this country could do little to stop Americas war on drugs from wreaking havoc in their nation. Recently, though, Ecuador has moved to decriminalize drugs in an effort to combat cartel activity. The sale of drugs remains illegal, but Ecuadorians are allowed to possess small amounts of both soft drugs like pot and hard drugs like heroin. There is current legislation to put into place a system for treatment and rehabilitation for addicts.
3. Uruguay: This nation has done something truly incredible. It formally legalized marijuana. The government sells a gram of cannabis for $1, which has snatched the carpet out from under the black market dealers of pot. While harder drugs are not illegal to use, it is not legal to sell cocaine or heroin. One of Uruguays reasons for decriminalizing pot was to free resources up to deal with major drug trafficking.
5. Switzerland: The Swiss government has had harm reduction programs in place since the 1980s because of the spread of HIV/AIDS due to needle sharing. Along with needle exchanges, the government provides counseling, housing and even supervised injection rooms for addicts.