week 9 Persuasive Research Paper Final Project
week 9 Persuasive Research Paper Final Project
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“Drugs in American society: Can we control it or is this substance controlling us?” Andrea Taylor Axia College of University of Phoenix What is the first thing that comes to mind when reading or hearing the word “Drugs”? What type of reaction can be believed that of a negative or positive manner? Drugs, legal and illegal, have been around since the beginning of time. So, how does something intended to help or cure individuals of pain and disease, also become a form of addiction and ruin so many lives? Drugs have become both a problem and solution in American society. While drugs are both beneficial and dangerous, the effect it has on the lives of many Americans, on a daily basis, has an alarming result. Drugs are defined as any chemical matter used to change the purpose of living things and the organisms that contaminate them. Drugs are used in many different ways, the picture below shows different instruments used in distributing drugs in an individual’s system. Drugs have many uses both helpful and harmful to the human mind and body. Substance abuse is a problem affecting all sectors of American society. (U.S. Department of Health Services, 1997) Drugs cross all societal boundaries, in both urban and rural areas. Drugs affect genders, every ethnic group, and people in every tax bracket. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1997) Drugs have a massive effect on both the young and older generation of society. A number of drugs are very addictive, causing different levels of chemical reaction to the brain. Other drugs can be used over a lengthy amount of time and cause unavoidable desires and habitual use. In the same way, drugs are used to ease pain they can also cause it .Drugs can treat the common cold and cure cancer in one dose. The same drugs or similar ones can mentally and physically destroy an individual inside out and take lives. There a wide variety of drugs from weight loss medicine, sleep aids, and prescribed medication for health and mental problems. Each medication has its own purpose and side effects. Many drugs are meant for self – improvement but cause many unwanted results. For example, a national survey conducted by NCCAM scientists and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2006 reported that 4.5% of Americans who suffer from insomnia used some form of herbal therapy. (Valenza, 2008) Namely, here are some cases of how and why drugs will always be a necessity to certain individuals in American society. Drugs are used to cure many diseases but also have a damaging effect on the human mental and physical state. For example, drugs can cure some of the deadliest diseases. A 42yearold HIV patient with leukemia appears to have no detectable HIV in his blood and no symptoms after a stem cell transplant from a donor carrying a gene mutation that confers natural resistance to the virus that causes AIDS, according to a report published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. (Froeber, 2009) The patient was being treated for his Leukemia and not HIV. The patient, who remained unidentified, is doing fine. Dr. Gero Hutter, who is a located in Berlin in Germany, said that his team, and he purposely chose a compatible donor who has a naturally occurring gene mutation that confers resistance to HIV. (Froeber, 2009) Dr. Hutter states that the mutation cripples a receptor known as CCR5, which are normally found in the surface of T cells, the type of immune system cells attacked by HIV. (Froeber, 2009) The patient underwent a stem cell transplant and since, has not tested positive for HIV in his blood. This story provides both a medical breakthrough and an exceptional example how drugs can cure or treat individuals with severe and life threatening illness. Nevertheless, they is always a positive and negative to any story. Although the patient is fine, and healthy, many others die from HIV, and diseases just like it every day, because the same medicine that worked for one case many fail in several others. Why is that how could a drug that has helped one individual hurt another? The answer is not as easy as one many want to believe. The short version is that certain genetic and family history and the response to the drugs play a big role. Drugs have chemicals in it, which agree or disagree with the genetics of our bodies. Although, drugs can have an impact of the regular citizens of America, many celebrities are going through drug troubles of their own. Just as if drugs have the power to cure, they can also take away lives. Here are a couple of celebrities’ stories that ended up in tragedy involving drugs. Anna Nicole Smith – Smith was an actress and model. In fact, she was named Playmate of the Year in 1993. (Casa Palmera, 2009) She was married three times during her lifetime, the most famous of which was to J. Howard Marshall. (Casa Palmera, 2009) This oil executive was a billionaire and 63 years older than Smith was. (Casa Palmera, 2009)Anna Nicole Smith died at the age of 39 from accidental overdose of chloral hydrate and other prescription drugs. (Casa Palmera, 2009) River Phoenix – This actor was the oldest of five children, one of whom is actor Joaquin Phoenix. (Casa Palmera, 2009) He acted in films such as Stand by Me, Little Nikita, the Thing Called Love, and Running on Empty. (Casa Palmera, 2009) Throughout his life he was a proud supporter of animal rights and refused to use animal products in the films, he acted in. (Casa Palmera, 2009) Phoenix died because of speedballs (a combination of cocaine and heroin) outside of the nightclub The Viper Room. (Casa Palmera) He was 23 years old. (Casa Palmera, 2009) Two different celebrates, same story ending, different drugs. Drugs have become more popular because of society acceptance of celebrities and their habits. Two lives ended prematurely due to drugs. Anna Nicole died from prescription drugs, which seems to be a trend in modern say society among celebrities and common people alike. River Phoenix died from a combination of cocaine and heroin, which also is used behind the scenes in many homes in America. Why are so many people turning to prescription drugs, cocaine, and heroin, when they have real life examples of what those drugs can do? Many people are depressed, suicidal and looking for an easy answer to their tribulations. Others just fall victim to peer pressure, and the pressures to remain “in with the times”. Whatever the reason, drugs are becoming the answer to everything, or so it seems. Drugs have been a problem in American society since the beginning of time. America has been trying to figure out why so many people are becoming addicted to drugs so fast. In the picture below, one answer is evident and not hard to figure out. The War on Drugs has been an issue for many for decades and still plagues the American society today. For example, under the presidency of Bush he proposed removing all drug offenders from the streets and incarcerating them, rather than ordering them to attend drug rehabilitation or treatment facilities. (Update: Drug Policy, 2008) Would this method be successful or cause more havoc among the American society? When Bush took office in 2001, 45% of the U.S.'s annual budget for fighting the war on drugs was dedicated to treatment, and prevention. (Update: Drug Policy, 2008) In addition, the budget was going to help addicts kick their drug habits while encouraging teenagers not to try drugs. (Update: Drug Policy, 2008) By 2008, however; only around onethird of the budget for the war on drugs focused on treatment and prevention; and according to Arthur Dean, the chairperson of Community AntiDrug Coalitions of America. (Update: Drug Policy, 2008) Bush's 2009 budget includes further cuts to federal drugtreatment and drugprevention programs. (Update Policy, 2008) Many are against the war on drugs because it is useless in their opinions. One reason behind the doubt is teenagers and marijuana. Some critics are saying that most U.S. teenagers are still able to get marijuana without problems. The critics also believe that the war on drugs wastes too much time, money, and work force. Drug addiction is a health problem—indeed, many doctors treat it as a disease—and should therefore be primarily dealt with by health professionals. (Update: Drug Policy, 2008) On the other hand supporters of the war on drug policy is working. For example, Proponents say that there are numerous reports indicating that U.S. drug policy is working. (Update: Drug Policy, 2008) Only 6% of Americans used an illegal drug in 2005, compared to 13% in 1980, according to Robert Weiner, a former ONDCP spokesperson. (Update: Drug Policy, 2008) Weiner further notes that cocaine and crack use is down 70% from 1980. (Update: Drug Policy, 2008) More recently, methamphetamine use has declined by 22%and cocaine use by 19%from 2006 to 2007. (Update: Drug Policy, 2008) "That's success. That's material, palpable success," says David Murray, the current ONDCP spokesperson. (Update: Drug Policy, 2008) Supporters, additionally, disagree with the critics about the war on drugs having a negative effect, because the war has reduced drug supplies all over the world. Different drugs are killing many Americans annually in the statistics below it is Giving on average in a year how many lives are taken by drugs. General Drug Facts and Statistics From The Drug Project. Deaths in the United States in a typical year are as follows: Tobacco kills about 400,000 Alcohol kills about 80,000 Workplace accidents kill 60,000 Automobiles kill 40,000 Cocaine kills about 2,500 Heroin kills about 2,000 Aspirin kills about 2,000 Marijuana kills 0 (Drug Facts and Statistics, 2009) There has never been a recorded death due to marijuana at any time in US history. (Drug Facts and Statistics, 2009) All illegal drugs combined kill fewer than 20,000 per year, or a small percent of the number killed by alcohol and tobacco. (Drug Facts and Statistics, 2009) Tobacco kills more people each year than all of the illegal drugs combined. (Drug Facts and Statistics, 2009) From The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. As shown in the statistics above drugs truly have taken many lives in American society with Tobacco ranking the highest. The Tobacco Companies are making millions and destroying lives in the process. When did people become so cold and inhumane? When did American Society become more obsessed with making money rather than helping out each other? The answer seems to be yes, with all of the facts that have been presented, and the visual assistance that was gave, drugs have become a huge obstacle for the people as a whole in American society. Drugs are the gateway for other forms of substance abuse i.e. Alcohol. Drugs can also increase or decrease criminal or deviant behavior. Drugs can lead to personal and professional ruin, the chart below demonstrates the different negative effects drugs can have on an individual in American society. Crime Death Drugs Alcohol Broken Abuse Homes Drug addiction can lead to alcohol abuse and violence, which seems to be seen a perfect combination in many American communities today. Some many argue that they are more in the African American community than any community is but everyone has either seen, or experienced the deathly trio in action. Drugs and Alcohol is a lethal pair by themselves but when violence and crime is involved, things just seem to get more complicated. Take the lowerincome communities and povertystricken individuals; they see celebrities and middle class people who are maintaining in society and blame them for their own mishaps. Then, imagine an already angry entity using drugs and alcohol, this leads to violence, which can cause a death and a broken home. The equation that was just placed was one of truth and one of the biggest reasons specific people feel the need for drugs, alcohol and violence. Ultimately, there is help for those who have suffered from addiction of any kind. There are support groups and rehabilitation centers that specialize in treating drug and alcohol related illness and compulsion. For instance, the Saint Jude Retreat House has a website that gives out vital information on beating drug and alcohol addiction. The websites supplies a number that can be called at anytime. The Website also has a 100% Confidentiality Guarantee. Many people turn to drugs and things because they feel as if they have nobody to talk to or confide in. This drug epidemic is not going to go away over night but, if we as people can encourage one another or get someone which is potentially abusing drugs help, then the world would be a much safer and peaceful place. Drugs were made to facilitate those who suffered pain, and sickness, not hinder and end lives. Drugs have affected everyone in a certain way whether it was personal or professional level. Drugs are continuing to ruin communities, and homes alike. When is enough going to be enough? When is America going to tire of losing this lifelong struggle against drugs? American society needs to first own up to, and face the facts about drug addiction. American society then needs to send the message about drug addiction on television and radio because this is where most of the children and Americans in general are learning much about life these days. In summary, drugs are an important part of the mental, physical, and psychological make up for most individuals in American society. With all the information that has been given about drugs in general and continues to develop about drugs; can society finally look to the future, and use drugs for the purpose in which they were originally meant, or will Americans continue to abuse this substance? What are some solutions to end the negativity associated with drugs? How can we keep drugs from entering into and damaging the lives of another generation? References Drug. (2009). In Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved July 1, 2009, from Encyclopedia Britannica Online: http://www.search.eb.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/eb/article 9106187 Retrieval June 21, 2009 from: http://www.ohsinc.com/Drug_User_Paraphernalia_example_1.jpg U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Chemical Dependency Is a Disease." Opposing Viewpoints: Chemical Dependency. Carol Wekesser. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1997. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Apollo Library. 2 July 2009 <http://find.galegroup.com/ips/start.do?prodId=IPS>. Valenza, Tor. "Popping OTC sleeps Aids; more patients are experimenting with herbal remedies And antihistamines. (market trends)(overthecounter)(Clinical report)." Sleep Review 9.9 (Nov cademic OneFile. Gale. Apollo Library. 2 July 2009 <http://find.galegroup.com/ips/start.do?prodId=IPS>. Froeber, J (2009) “Man appears free of HIV after stem cell transplant” CNNhealth .com from: http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/02/11/health.hiv.stemcell/index.html Casa Palmera Resources Informative Article: Top 20 Drug Induced Celebrity Deaths Part 1 From: http://www.casapalmera.com/articles/how20prominentpeoplediedasaresult ofdruguse/ “Update: Drug Policy.”( April 11, 2008). Issues & Controversies On File. Retrieved July 18, 2009. From Issues & Controversies database: http://www.2facts.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/RecordUrl.asp? article=/icof/search/i1300210.asp Drug Facts and Statistics (2009) retrieved July 18, 2009 from the Drug Project http://www.a1b2c3.com/drugs/gen008.htm
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