Government involvement in the drug trade is often geared towards protecting American citizens from themselves because society has already identified drug abuse as an involuntary phenomenon once one becomes an addict. It is also argued that the economic effects of the drug trade are quite negative in the American economy, and this has even been given as one of the reasons behind the legalization debate (Weil & Rosen, 2004). The fact that the government has a responsibility embedded in the constitution to protect the American society from negative influences means that it has to come up with policies that limit drug use while at the same time enabling rehabilitation of drug users (Peele, 1998). The government has, therefore, made deliberate steps towards ensuring that American citizens have access to treatment and rehabilitation centers after they have suffered from addiction.
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The history of American society in as far as drug abuse is concerned has had a dark past where drugs and alcohol were considered a lifestyle especially with the popularity of pop culture and hippies in the 60s and 70s. The developments in government legislation in the 70s and the 80 served to strengthen the powers of agencies such as the DEA and customs to reduce the proliferation of hard drugs in the country (Weil & Rosen, 2004). This has had a significant impact in encouraging a culture shift where the society has come to terms with the harsh reality of the negative effects of drug abuse among the American people.
The American society encourages drug abuse, and even though it identifies drugs as harmful substances in society, it idolizes those who adopt a lifestyle of drug abuse such as movie stars and musicians (Peele, 1998). The fact that the social, cultural, and psychological aspects of a human being define who he or she is as a person means that their manipulation may have a permanent effect on their behavior, which includes their indulgence in addictive tendencies (Peele, 1998).
The fact that the effects of drug use would still suffice even after the legalization of drugs means that more people will be seeking treatment as drug abuse increases in society. Recent developments in the legalization debate have been identified to undermine years of progressive work that has reduced access to drugs especially by minors in the society. This means that a whole new problem of addicted minors who are addicted to drugs will arise, and this has a degenerative effect on their studies and the economy in the future.
It is identified that the notion of lack of control that most addicts identify to be the reason behind their use of drugs is quite wrong. Stanton’s view of addiction tends to dispute the disease theory that suggests that alcohol and other drugs have a biological or rather genetic bias in the addiction process. This means that those prone to addiction would still suffer from the same even after the legalization of the specific drugs, which means that the same number of people seeking treatment will be reported. The treatment of addicts by identifying addiction as a problem associated with self-efficacy rather than being a disease serves to give a long-term solution to the addict. This is by ensuring that he or she can control their body in case of recurrent episodes of drug use thereby avoiding a total relapse that would lead them to seek help again (Weil & Rosen, 2004).
Peele, S. (1998). The meaning of addiction: An unconventional view. New York: Jossey- Bass.
Weil, A, & Rosen, W. (2004). From Chocolate To Morphine: Everything You Need To Know About Mind-altering Drugs. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
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