Drugged Driving as a Social Problem
Society faces a lot of problems and everyone is affected by them. Due to the large number of actual and potential problems, it is difficult to decide which ones have the most disastrous effect. Drugs are widely used in medicine, however, in many cases, they make people addictive and lead to numerous crimes. Since drugs are the cause of violent and deviant behavior, they are usually classified as a social problem and one of the most urgent and depressing problems in the world. Hundred millions of lives are shattered by these poisonous substances. They cause economic, social, and political damages to the producing and consuming nations.
Drugs are considered to be a social problem, because of many reasons. One of them is addiction. People get addicted to this substance psychologically, emotionally, and biologically interfering with people’s lives, their work and personal environment. Addictive people usually befriend people that also do the drugs, as they have the same interest. Work becomes a way of getting money to buy drugs. In addition, drugs damage the human body and even lead to death. Many drugs affect kidneys, liver, and heart. The third reason is the heavy cost of drugs to society in the healthcare industry. As drug trade is lucrative, it is extremely violent. Even when it becomes legalized, people look for cheaper sources (without taxation) of getting drugs.
The problems of drug use date back to the 19th century when the drugs appeared in the United States. After the American Civil War, opium and cocaine appeared on the surface. At the beginning of the 20th century, the discovery of morphine took place, which gains quick popularity, because of its ability to relieve pain. At that time, the situation with drugs was unregulated, as they were sold without medical prescription.
The statistics show that people start using drugs at the age of 18-20. However, using drugs for the first time, they do not think about the millions of serious illnesses and injuries, which are caused by such a destructive habit (Effects of drug abuse and addiction, 2013). In spite of the fact that the effect of each drug group is different, all of them affect the main body functions and put people at risk of a fatal overdose. One of the most significant risks is the connection between drugs, alcohol, and crime. High level of crime has been related to the amount of illegal drug use and business. Violent crimes have also increased due to clashes between dealers. A crime means to buy, possess, use, manufacture, or distribute illegal drugs. However, killing, fighting and other rude activities are crimes, which are mostly committed under the influence of drugs.
Drug users experience a variety of physical effects. The cocaine excitement is followed by a period of anxiety, depression, fatigue, and an acute desire to use more cocaine to overcome these feelings. Marijuana and alcohol are often the cause of automobile accidents. Users of marijuana may have unwanted recurrences of the drug’s effects as well as flashbacks weeks or months after use.
According to the National Institutes of Health, there was a rapid increase in the teen use of marijuana over the past four years. Marijuana is considered to be a serious public health threat that affects teenagers. As marijuana is the second most commonly used drug that is associated with drugged driving, it is essential to understand its extreme danger. The drug affects brain areas that control balance, body movements, coordination and memory. Numerous studies indicate that marijuana has a negative influence in the driver’s attentiveness. Marijuana use is also associated with difficulty in focusing and performing cognitive tests. Marijuana is a dangerous drug that negatively interferes with key driving skills, including visual scanning, attentiveness, basic motor skills, orientation ability, as well as perception of speed and time (Cooper, 2011).
Drug abuse is the cause of a variety of social problems, including violence, drug and drunk driving, stress and child abuse. It also can lead to numerous crimes, homelessness and missed work. Drug abuse destroys families and harms unborn babies. Drunk driving is a constantly increasing problem not only in the USA, but also in the whole world. It is the cause of almost 20,000 deaths a year (Drugged driving plays major role in traffic deaths, 2012).
Some researchers claim that drugged driving is extremely under-reported and this problem is much more serious than people realize. It is usually explained by the fact that it is difficult to collect data related to driving under the influence of drugs for a number of reasons. For example, it is difficult to conduct assessments of drugged driving and to substantiate drug impairment in court (Cooper, 2011). In addition, law enforcement lacks tests that help to identify drugging and, in case police officers detect alcohol, they rarely look for the drug impairment evidence. One more reason is that drug trafficking and drug black markets are extremely beneficial and attract people who take positions in police, state administration and other institution, which should combat this issue. That is why, it is difficult to track, investigate and even create new, much stricter laws, which punish those involved in drug trafficking, drug selling and drug use.
Drugged driving poses a threat not only to the drivers, but also passengers and passersby. Hence, drugged driving poses a threat to the overall public safety. Researches indicate the fact that drugs, even prescribed by physicians, can impair judgment, perception, memory and motor skill, which are responsible for safe driving. Drugged driving has become a growing safety concern in the United States. It is closely related to the rise of drug abuse (Hanson, n.d.).
Drug abuse may also affect society in many ways. Drug use can lead to social isolation, which can result in depression. It can negatively affect the relationships with family members, children, friends and partners. Drugs make people skip out on important events in life and work responsibilities. Drug abuse can also cause difficulties for people to make and keep friends as people become aggressive. In the workplace, drugs lead to the inefficiency and lost work. The financial strain, which results from drug abuse, is usually devastating. Drug users are often involved in occupational accidents, endangering not only themselves, but also people who are around them. Drug-related crimes have a disruptive effect on the neighborhoods. In some regions, youth is recruited as helpers and lookouts, because juvenile offenders usually get light sentences. Many drug abusers are engaged in prostitution and burglary.
Thus, everyone in the society is affected by drug abuse. However, not all people are affected directly. It is necessary to understand that narcotic addiction is a multi-faceted and borderless problem. Drug abuse erodes human potential. Usually it leads to violence, crimes and anti-social behavior. Drugs directly affect the central nervous system influencing perceptions, moods, bodily functions and consciousness. Drug use has a negative influence of mental, physical and social state, leading to accidents, as well as loss of work, family and friends. It is necessary to remember that drug user cannot control their feelings and they are people who need urgent treatment. The problem may be at least partly illuminated through a variety of research programs and stricter laws.