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Drugs are very much a part of our daily lives. Often, when we think of them, we can be judgmental about the people we consider to be “the users,” whether we think of them as “pot heads,” heroin addicts or meth users. Lately, the latter have become widely advertised by the TV show Breaking Bad …   Read More

Drugs are very much a part of our daily lives. Often, when we think of them, we can be judgmental about the people we consider to be “the users,” whether we think of them as “pot heads,” heroin addicts or meth users. Lately, the latter have become widely advertised by the TV show Breaking Bad or through Hollywood movies, like Training Day, which depict the drug problem as a very far away issue affecting low income households or mainly associated by drug traffickers. We are mostly aware of the war on drugs, as initiated by the American President Reagan in the 1970s, and we know of law enforcement organizations created to placate it like the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) It seems the issue of drug use or drug abuse, or living as a drug user has been widely become externalized. I ,however, I would like to point that out that in reality it is not. If we simply take into account or use of coffee, as it is a drug since it contains a substance called caffeine, or if you think about how passionate some youth are when it comes to alcohol consumption through beer or cocktails. Some people are even fortunate to own a mini bar of some sort. Other drug types include, of course, prescribed or self-prescribed drugs (i.e. over-the-counter drugs), which form part of our every day lives and the nicotine from smoking cigarettes. Why are companies like Red Bull so successful? Because they pride in creating a beverage which contains a higher degree of caffeine and other things which will give you that “pick me up” feeling. Coffee itself is present at most workplaces with coffee machines or coffee dispensers being an important part of an office, perhaps as important as the copier machine. Now, we can go even deeper and consider a number of other activities such as, for example, playing video games, the rush we get when we watch horror movies, or even sexual activity. In all of these scenarios, we might become addicted by these activities, because enable the brain to release a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is indeed the same type of chemical which gets released, in greater amounts, when people consume a substance like cocaine. In essence, certain drugs are more like enabling chemicals for dopamine to be released by our bodies, rather than they being the direct inducers of the high. The issue of looking at drugs as an external situation is that it creates a culture of fear and of irrational decisions in our society. Why is there a war on drugs? Which costs the United States alone 51 trillions every year. The number of Americans incarcerated in 2012 in federal, state and local prisons and jails: 2,228,400 or 1 in every 108 adults, the highest incarceration rate in the world. Why is this bad? Because these substances are already out there, as it was learned with prohibition of alcohol in the early 20th century when it came to alcohol, it became obvious that it did not work. Thus now, alcohol is a legalized drug. When you have laws telling people what they should do or not do, it is simply morally wrong to imprison them for their choices, which happen to become illegal. Instead, an awareness and education about drugs should be in place, all of those trillions of dollars (and also not to account all of the moneys in other countries) have a safer bet for success when used towards education and pay off all of the debts of the world, then again the issue of countries, including the only super power in the world being indebted is another topic all into itself, because then we should ask: Who is getting rich as a result? As it is often pointed out in this web site, awareness if a responsibility we owe to ourselves and to the ones we love, because without it we are really in a place where our leaders don’t have our vested interest at hand, or perhaps they have to work with waves of other people who fail to want to break the status quo. The economy is not the only issue however, this vastly deregulated industry has left a few with more power than they can handle, to point where lives are being lost all of the time as result of drug cartels, which generate millions of dollars and who literally are in a war to grab the biggest chunk of the flow of distribution and profit. This is exemplified in a country like Mexico, where powerful drug lords control large areas of the country, areas where there is no law other than gun law. An estimated 1.6 million deaths have been attributed to the Mexican drug war, according to Mexican newspaper, El Economista.

Sources:

http://www.drugpolicy.org/drug-war-statistics  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_Drug_War http://eleconomista.com.mx/seguridad-publica/2012/01/07/desplazados-tragedia-silenciosa-mexico

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