Saturday, April 24, 2010

Preventing Drug Use In Our Society

***The images above show how people are receiving help to recover from their horrible past.***
Drug use in our society can be prevented. We need to create more rehabilitation centers where drug users can go and get help. The centers need to consist of many doctors who treat drug users but act as friends and give them a shoulder to lean on, which will help individuals cope with their trauma of being a drug user but also encourage them to stop abusing drugs. American Heart Association did a survey back in 2009 which showed over two-thirds of Californians have some time in their lives tried recreation drugs! People, as a society, need to unite together, so we can help those addicted individuals fight this sickness. Drug prevention and rehabilitation centers offer hope to men, women, and their families who are suffering from the devastating consequences of chemical dependency and addiction. Deciding to seek recovery for yourself or someone you care about may be one of the most courageous and life-altering steps you'll ever take. We need to create rehabilitation centers that can accommodate different types of drug addicts.

We need to have well established clinics that have programs by well-paid, trained physicians to prevent drug usage in our society. Having alternative solutions, such as clinics, will help drug addicts and show them that there is a way out of this horrible habit. Having such clinics will help the addicts look at life in a different aspect and build up some of their self-esteem again. For example, my neighbor’s son was a heavy drug user and tried to commit suicide more than once. He thought there was no more hope for him since his own family had given up on him by disowning him. His family didn’t want to have any sort of relationship or deal with a drug user. A clinic by my house called the Teen Center helped build up his self-esteem again and slowly deterred drugs away from his life. It convinced him that there still is a chance for him to get back on his feet.

In the clinic, my neighbor’s son was exposed to the harmful effect of abusing drugs and the effect it can really have on a person. This moment changed my neighbor’s son’s life. If you look at my neighbor’s son today, he is a married man with a good job and is living a drug-free life. In the article, “"How About Low-Cost Drugs for Addicts?" by Louis Nizer, he states that, "The government should create clinics maintained by physician that would provide medicine for nominal changes or even free to addicts under controlled regulations." When the government actually wakes up and steps in by providing enough funding for prevention programs, then the rates of drug abuse will dramatically decrease. If the people can get the government to provide enough funding for prevention programs like the Teen Center, then the government can help stop the spread of these drugs for good. If the government wants to create a drug free society and help Americans, then it needs to provide funding and support to help improve the clinics, as well as help the drug addicts.

Overall, having drug rehabilitation clinics is just not enough. We can do our part by creating drug clinics where drug abusers can turn for help. Drug abusers need to do their part as well by taking the first step in reaching out for help. For example, I mentioned in one of my previous blogs about Rush Limbaugh who checked himself into a rehabilitation center because of his addiction to pain killers. He has done it. Rush Limbaugh has become one of the lucky few who found freedom from his drug addiction by taking the first step to get help.

I would like to thank all of my viewers for taking the journey with me to explore the world of drug users, abusers, and the overall effects of drugs in our society.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


***The image above shows how drugs or drinking can affect your family in a horrific way.***

In today’s society, many children are being exposed to drugs on the street, especially through family members. Many young children that are exposed to illegal drugs are through a friend or even a sibling. Social learning theory is a theory that can be learned. It is learned through socially interacting with society. Social learning theory is a change in an individual’s behavior, knowledge, capability, or attitude that is acquired through experience from the individual’s social world. In addition, it is taught through the component of Aker’s theory of differential reinforcement which is learned through rewards. In fact, according to Bynum and Thompson, Aker’s theory which is, “that deviant (and delinquent) behavior is learned and acted out in response to rewards and reinforcements that are available in the individual's environment” (Bynum & Thompson). For example, a fear for a child to think they will lose the most important thing in their life may cause them to reinforce events that will prevent them from losing their loved one. These include gratification, status, and other rewards which can serve as a role model for many teenagers.

Peer pressure can also cause one to change their mindset, and it can even force them to go against their norms or even commit crimes. Having some type of reinforcement in one’s life could manipulate an individual to even go against their norms. It can even lead an individual to abuse drugs. A child might abuse drugs because they see their parents abusing drugs. For example, many of us probably have heard of the Italian mafia; they function and form their gang basically within generations. In fact, a study done by the national youth organization indicated that a child is more prone to do drugs and abuse drugs if a family members is using drugs. For example, I work as a tutor for many elementary schools as well as middle schools. I have seen many youths who are getting sent to juvenile hall because of drug issues. I witness that ninety percent of the youths who were arrested because of drug possession stated that they were exposed to drugs because of family members. These youth are our future generation; we need to show them the right path and open many doors for their success.


*** The image above shows unimaginable effect that pharmaceutical drugs such as Tylenol can have on an individual.***

Drug addiction not only occurs from illegal drugs; it also occurs from pharmaceutical drugs. When many people hear the words drug and addiction, they tend to think of illegal drugs. Prescription drugs such as Vicodin and Tylenol can be as addicting as marijuana and even cocaine. Pain killers can be highly addicting. Prescription drugs are rapidly becoming primary drugs of abuse in the United States and throughout the world. Prescription drugs are public health problems for many Americans. The relief of pain makes an individual feel good from taking pain killers, but it gets an individual hooked on it. For example, when I broke my arm, I took pain killers for the pain for a whole month. My body got hooked on it, and I couldn’t sleep without taking it. I starting by taking one pill which lead to the next pill, and by the time I noticed what I was doing, I was taking four pills of vicodin in one day. Pain killers can make one feel good for a while, but then, down the road, they cause a lot of problems. For example, American Heart Association states, "taking Tylenol for a long period of time can be highly addicting and cause serious liver, kidney, bladder problems sometimes even heart failure."

In fact, many of you probably have heard of "The Rush Limbaugh Show." If not, it is a radio show. Its host, Rush Limbaugh, announced during his radio program on Friday that he is addicted to painkillers and is checking into a rehab center to "break the hold of this highly addictive medication has on me" (Rush Limbaugh). The Associated Press confirmed that Limbaugh said he started taking painkillers “some years ago” after a doctor prescribed them after a spinal surgery. His back pain stemming from the surgery persisted, so Limbaugh said he started taking pills and became hooked. Limbaugh stated, "over the past several years, I have tried to break my dependence on pain pills, and in fact, twice checked myself into medical facilities in an attempt to do so." It is shocking to believe that taking some pain killers can force someone to check themselves into a rehabilitation center. Just a word to the wise: Be careful, and think twice before taking any types of prescription drugs.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Drugs During Pregnancy

***Above is an image showing the harmful effects drugs can have on your newborn.***

Drugs can have a harmful effect on individuals especially pregnant women. When you are pregnant, almost everything you eat, drink, or smoke passes through your body to your baby. Being pregnant gives many women a new life. Having the feeling of becoming mothers for many women is an honor. When I held my niece in my arms for the first time, I felt a special bond between my niece and I. Everyone wants to take care of their children and give them the best lifestyle. However, some pregnant mothers forget the harm they are creating for their unborn children by abusing drugs. The first image is of a baby who was born premature because of his mother abusing alcohol. The second picture consists of births of children who have died because of their mothers abusing drugs, alcohol, and other substances. Seeing such images brings tears in my eyes and makes me wonder why mothers abuse drugs during pregnancy if it can cause such a disaster?

Illegal drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, and heroin are just a few drugs that can be harmful to the fetus during pregnancy. Illegal drugs can cause serious problems when used while pregnant. For example, cocaine disturbs the normal sleep cycle of babies and causes damage to the brain, liver, and kidneys. Also, amphetamines or speed can cause heart defects in your baby. In fact, marijuana can cause you to have a smaller than normal baby (America Health Association). Pregnant women who share needles to inject drugs or who have unprotected sex have a higher chance to pass the virus to their unborn child. Not just illegal drugs, prescription drugs can harm your baby too. It is always important to check with your doctor before you start taking over the counter drugs during your pregnancy. Give your baby a great birthday present by giving them a healthy start.

Research has suggested that if pregnant mothers abuse or use drugs, the child has a higher chance of abusing drugs in their life. In fact, “For 20 years, pregnant women have been warned that alcohol and drugs damage their fetuses, but a startling new study of Californian women shows that one in nine pregnant women are still testing positive for drug use at delivery.” (England Journal of Medicine) The unborn child is being exposed to drugs through their mother. It is important to avoid illegal drugs in general but even more important during pregnancy. There is a life growing inside of you and needs your support to build its immune system; help your baby build a good, healthy one.

Legal drugs, including cigarettes and alcohol, can also cause harm to your baby. Mothers who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have babies be born premature and have more abnormal facial features as well as other defects. Alcohol can cause a lot of different diseases that your baby can develop such as mental retardation. The study in Thursday's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that, “Nearly 70,000 California women are using alcohol, illegal drugs, or tobacco. Health officials say, "Alcohol poisoning of fetuses is one of the most common and preventable causes of mental retardation, and drug usage can kill.”(England Journal of Medicine) The effects of drugs not only lasts at that time but also throughout the child's life and the life of the person who takes care of the child. Every day the person would be reminded of the mistakes they committed as they witness the effects that drugs have on their child.

-England Journal of Medicine

Friday, March 5, 2010


***The first image shows the effect of teen substance abuse, in particular abusing alcohol.***

***The second picture shows the effects of teens driving while under the influence of drugs and the pain he received from his wound.***

Drug effects have a huge impact in the world. People who use illegal drugs are not only affecting their lives but also affecting the lives of their families and friends as well. Teen substance abuse affects the family unit as teens become more hostile, and their decision-making becomes greatly impaired. The consequence of such use, even causal use, can be devastating to both the user and to the user’s family members. But, teen drug use is costly to more than just families. It is especially costly to our society as a whole. Youth’s immature physical, emotional, and psychological development make them more susceptible than adults to the harmful effects of drug abuse.

According to the MADD which stated Alcohol is the number one substance abuse used by teenagers. As we speak many innocent human beings are killed by teenage drivers. For many parent’s finding out that their son or daughter has been struggling with Teen abuse is a catastrophic revelation. Thoughts of failure, disappointment, guilt, and embarrassment floods a parents mind. A recent study done by National drug Intelligence Organization stated that “in 2008, an estimated 11,773 people died in alcohol-impaired traffic crashes committed by teenagers driving under the influence”. In fact, “three in every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lives” (NDIO, p.1).
There are many risks for teenagers abusing substance such as alcohol. Underage drinkers are susceptible to immediate consequences of alcohol use, including blackouts, hangovers, and alcohol poisoning and are at elevated risk of “neurodegeneration particularly in regions of the brain activity and the appearance of neurocognitive defect” (NIAAA, P.2).

Drug effects can not only change the way a person looks but also impact their ability to think. For example, my family friend got behind a car on February 14, 2010 and was involved in a fatal car accident. My friend was under the influence of alcohol when he got in the car with his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. He survived the car crash however, his girlfriend was thrown out of the window and was run over by an 18 wheel truck smashing every bone in her body resulting in instance death. My friend has never been able to get over that horrible incident. My friend feels responsible and now goes to high schools and targets teenagers to inform them of the horrible consequences driving under the influence can cause an individual. Also, my friend’s girlfriend's family members have not forgiven my friend until this day. Once a life is taken it cannot come back, but the wounds of the incident remain within the victimizer's soul. This one incident of drinking and driving has changed my friend forever and this one decision makes him suffer as the event has just happened yesterday.

Overall, drug effects have a huge impact on the indivdual and the ability to think. Alcohol is just one example of subtance that is abused by teenagers.





Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Illegal Drugs vs. Legal drugs

***The graph above shows the initiates of illicit drug usage.***

Drugs can be viewed in many ways in our society. Drugs can be viewed as nonfood chemicals that alter the way a person thinks, feels, functions, or behaves. This includes everything from prescription medications, to illegal chemicals like heroin, to popular and widely available substances like alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. A wide variety of laws, regulations, and government agencies exist to control the possession, sale, and use of drugs. Different drugs are held to different standards based on their perceived dangers and usefulness; a fact that sometimes leads to disagreement and controversy.

Illegal drugs are drugs that “currently have no standard or accepted medical use in the United States, such as heroin, LSD, and marijuana” (Smith, 2009, p.2). It is illegal to buy, sell, possess, and use these drugs except for research purposes. These types of drugs are only given to certified researchers (Smith, p. 3). On the other hand, we have a category of drugs that are classified as Legal drugs, which are not forbidden by the law. However, legal drug usage may be restricted. For example, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have stated that they control the use of legal psychoactives which are drugs that alert mood swings that have a potential for substance abuse. These drugs, which many of you have heard include narcotics, depressants, and stimulants which are only available with a prescription.

There is a huge controversy over illegal drugs especially marijuana. I read an article called U.S. Eases Stance on Medical Marijuana by Carrie Johnson, which talked about legalizing medical marijuana. There is a huge controversy on this issue. In the article, the Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. stated on Monday for prosecutors to “back away from pursuing cases against medical marijuana patients, signaling a broad policy shift that drug reform advocates interpret as the first step toward legalization of the drug” (Johnson, p.1). This policy told law enforcement to avoid catching criminals dealing with Marijuana but rather focus on criminals that violate other laws. There are many views on whether legalizing medical Marijuana is necessary or not. My view about legalizing marijuana is that we should legalize it. We should require medical prescriptions from physicians to allow patients that really need to use it. I really think we should legalize it because having it illegal doesn’t prevent people from using it anyway. Some people need marijuana due to medical reasons. Having it illegal doesn’t prevent criminals from using it; it just takes away the benefit of it from the people that really do need it. In fact, Pakistan Times stated in an article; legalizing medical marijuana will help treat cancer patients and will open doors for many other drugs being legalized (Altaf, p.1).

Here are some Statistic done by the National Teen Organization:

"According to the 1998 National Household Survey on Teen Drug Abuse, nearly ten percent of teens between the ages of twelve and seventeen used illegal drugs - a number less than 11.4 percent from just the year prior – including marijuana (8.3%), cocaine (0.8%) and inhalants (1.1%) (SAMHSA, 1998). Statistics for 2002 reflect a slight drop in teenage drug usage to 8.3 percent for overall consumption of all illicit drugs. Still heading the list as most commonly used drug for troubled teens was marijuana (75% of all teen users) followed by cocaine (0.9%) and marijuana combined with one or more other drugs (20%). Cigarettes were found to be a strong precursor for troubled teens to who used illicit drugs, representing about eight times the number to those teens who smoked (48.1%) and those teens who did not (6.2%)".

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Are drugs your friends or enemies? In today’s world drugs are taking over society by becoming a person’s worst nightmare. Are you aware of the growing number of drug user in California? The number is sky rocketing as we speak. People have started drifting onto the wrong path and have starting using drugs. It has become a growing phenomenon.

Drugs abuse needs to be controlled and exterminated from our society similar to pests and rodents being exterminated from our homes. Our bodies as well as our lives are eaten away by use of drugs just as termites eat away at wood. It starts slowly but surely, it deteriorates the body just like a disease. According to American heart association did a survey back in 2009 which stated over two- thirds of Californians have some time in their live tried recreation drugs! People, as a society, need to unite together so we can help those addicted individuals fight this sickness.

I would like you to join me in researching on the drugs and their effect on society especially the effects on law enforcement. Together, let take a journey to the world of drug users, abusers, effects of drugs on society, and the different aspects of drugs. Stay tuned with me while I explore the categories of drugs, effects drugs have on all demographic, current drug laws, drug overdose resulting in death, and the prevention and rehabilitation process.

Statistic gathered from:
*Drug Enforcement Administration. U.S. Drug Threat Assessment, 2005 Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.
*American Heart Association