As society has progressed its view on drugs have changed along with it. A famous example in recent history being around the late 1960’s and early 70’s with the flower power hippy movement associated with drugs such as marijuana and other psychedelic drugs. The Ancient Greeks and other religious groups utilized drugs for religious and spiritual rituals.
Nowadays drugs have progressed from spreading of joy and enhancing religion, to causing addiction, violence and death. Society over the past few decades has changed the way it’s members use drugs and how they respond to their use. There has been a rise in addiction, people using and abusing drugs and deaths related to or caused by use of drugs.
The government plays a key role in displaying the changing of societies response to drug culture. The Uniform Controlled Substances Act began in 1970. This Act classifies drugs and mind altering substances by their addictive properties, potential for medical use and their potential for adverse health. The CSA plays a crucial part in how society responds to individual drugs. The higher the control then the worse the drug appears to the public eye.
Drug addicts respond to the government’s efforts to restrict drug use in a variety of ways. The most common of which is simply ignoring the new and stricter laws and pressure from others. Another new and relevant way is the creation of new legal party drugs. These are drugs with slightly different molecular structures than those that are already controlled and so are technically legal when they come out. A topical example of this is mephedrone, a.k.a. ‘bath salts’ or ‘plant food’. Mephedrone is a highly addictive and dangerous drug which started being circulated in around 2008-2009. These new drugs cause many new addictions to develop and fuel already present ones. Society responds to these by creating new laws and restrictions such as the DEA’s rush to make bath salts illegal.
The government and federal agencies are attempting to fight the drug war by restricting supply of drugs to users. Drug seizures and checks are becoming more frequent as the government attempts to block any drugs from being imported from countries such as China and Mexico.
Research into addiction has been a prominent contributor to the changing view on drugs. Awareness and knowledge of addiction has expanded significantly and continues to do so.
Research into addiction has played a key role in society’s view on drugs. The majority of parents have concern over their children using drugs. Research has proven that teenagers are more prone and susceptible to developing addiction. Many adults have changed their views on allowing their children to try certain drugs. One would hope that this research has increased awareness into addiction amongst adolescents, however the number of teenagers using and trying drugs for the first time is increasing.
Investment and increase in treatment opportunities has been substantial over the past few decades showing both a need and demand for drug treatment. Society has attempted to fix the drug culture with stopping the biggest users by treating the disease. Treatment can be effective but only if the drug addict wants it.
It is safe to say that the war on drugs has increased dramatically over the past few decades and is constantly on the rise. Society does all it can to prevent drug usage through spreading awareness, using legal measures and others. In the end with rising use in the youth population how much can be done to prevent children from using without keeping them monitored at all times. It seems to be in the nature of youth generations to explore and find new experiences to feel better. It just so happens that drugs are effective at making one feel better until one becomes dependent then lives can be destroyed or lost.