U.S. Drug Prices, Why Are they so High?

Drug Prices in The United States

Nearly one in four Americans who take prescription drugs say they struggle to afford the medication they need. A recent report from RAND Corporation found that US prescription drug prices are 256% higher than other countries; averaging the prices seen in 32 other countries (Light & Caplan, 2018). The ratio of sales to volume weight is significantly higher in the US. Zolgensma, a drug that treats spinal muscular atrophy, is the most expensive drug in the U.S. It has an estimated annual cost of $2,125,000. Unbranded generics account for approximately 12% of prescription drug spending at manufacturer prices (Walker, 2015). The branded drugs make up 11% of the US prescription volume and 82% of expenditure. Therefore, brand drugs are the primary driver of the higher prescription drug prices in the country. These prices, in fact, have been exponentially increasing for a while.

Why Are Drug Prices so High In United States?

The simple explanation of this excessive drug prices is monopoly pricing. By using the patent protection and FDA marketing exclusivity, the government gives pharmaceutical companies a monopoly on brand-name drugs. Monopolies are the highest risk factors for excessive prices.

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It is very difficult to note the actual out-of-pocket cost to consumers for a prescription because of the consumer rebates and price adjustments to insurers. Thus, the true cost of these prescription drugs is difficult to determine (Berman & Thomas, 2017). These prices are engrossed in a web of price adjustments and middle managers from the gross price to the actual price that the consumer pays. Patients’ out-of-pocket costs continue to grow while net costs to insurers keep declining, meaning that the insured patients are bearing a disproportionate share of the costs relative to the terms of their insurance agreements (Bollyky & Kesselheim, 2017). Clearly, the health insurance system in the US is so unique to any other developed country.

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Another reason for the higher prices in the country is because the government does not set ceiling prices in the US as other countries do. Also, there are marketing exclusivity periods for patented innovator drugs. There is a group of middlemen known as Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) that negotiates prices with pharmaceutical companies for inclusivity of health insurance coverage lists (Berman & Thomas, 2017). These groups often promote implementation of direct discounts or rebates that lead to higher prices to the consumer. This results in a war of internal pricing where manufactures are given incentives to increase list prices while increasing discounts to keep PBMs happy.

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Has The Government Done Anything To Lower Drug Prices?

In mid Sep 2020, the Trump administration signed an executive order to lower prescription drugs by “putting America first.” A Most Favored Nation strategy to drug pricing creates a trading opportunity among states making originally bilateral agreements multilateral (Bollyky & Kesselheim, 2017). The implication of this is that the drugs covered under the most favored nation pricing scheme will be expanded. This initiative will allow Medicare to use the lower prices of the other developed countries than paying higher for the same drugs.  Also, Trump announced the end of the Unapproved Drugs Initiative program that was responsible for major shortages of vital medicines (Light & Caplan, 2018).

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This implies that the drug prices may be five times less expensive than before if the Biden administration implements this policy. The true cost of a drug depends on who’s paying, and everyone involved is pushing costs up. There should be fundamental rebate reforms to fix both the cost-shifting problems in the US and develop a more open and reliable net price. Medicare should be allowed to negotiate drug prices in order to help drive costs down and end the monopoly in pricing. Also, it is important for every citizen to have health coverage to benefit from negotiated pricing.

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Drug Crimes in Colombia

Colombia is distinguished as one of the countries with the highest drug crimes in the world. The high crime rate is ascribed to the nation’s illicit drug trade, which involves the production, processing, and trafficking of cocaine. The magnitude of drug crimes in Colombia can be quantified through homicide rates and statistical estimates of cocaine production and sales. In 2018, the murder rate across Colombia was approximately 25 cases per 100,000 people, while the rate of cocaine production in the same year was 1,120 metric tons. The Colombian government has been engaging in military and concerted efforts in an attempt to reduce drug trafficking and related crimes. However, the problem has only evolved into a series of other issues due to deep-seated hindrances, such as corruption and poverty. Colombia’s drug crimes represent a critical and tricky question that demands international, national, and local collaborative efforts both from a political and societal perspective.

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            The challenge of drug trafficking in Colombia is mainly attributed to highly organized crime groups and corruption that runs deep within administrative systems. Indeed, Colombia is renowned for its notorious cartels that manage drug operations and criminal activities. Some of the most famous cartels were the Medellin, Cali, Norte Del Valle, and North Coast Cartels (PBS). Cartels are responsible for supervising the production and distribution of illegal drugs. Some cartels have used extreme tactics such as amalgamating with guerilla movements to enhance their trafficking level. For instance, the Medellin Cartel combined with the M-19 militia group to eventually traffic over 80% of cocaine delivered to the United States. It is estimated that 70% of the world’s cocaine is produced in Colombia. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), this amounts to about 1400 tons, a significant chunk of the 2000 tons produced in the Andean region. Other cocaine-producing countries in the Andean region include Peru and Bolivia (Popescu 258). In each of these countries, organized groups contribute to the persistence of trafficking.

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            Poverty contributes to the growth and perpetuation of cocaine trafficking in Colombia. Poor farmers are compelled to cultivate coca to earn a living (Gootenberg 27). Much of the coca used in the production of cocaine is cultivated in remote areas where authorities are absent, and locals lack access to Colombia’s legal economy. The lack of state control means that land is readily available for informal and illegal activities, such as coca cultivation. In 2018, it was estimated that over 160,000 hectares of land were used to cultivate cocaine. A more significant part of this land is farmed by 130,000 families who benefit directly from small-scale coca farming. Each family receives an average of $1000 per month from coca-growing activities. The mean price of coca across Colombia is one dollar per kilogram, albeit pricing is mainly dependent on the region. Approximately 125 kilograms of coca are needed to produce one kilogram of cocaine. To buy such an amount of coca, a local drug lab needs barely $150. However, once processed, the value upsurges to about $2200. The value further escalates when the cocaine reaches consumers in the United States to roughly $60,000.

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            Colombian authorities have tried to curb the production and sale of cocaine through various methods. The most prevalent methods are the eradication of coca plants via spraying chemicals. Even so, the country still records high levels of cocaine production. For instance, the country produced over 1300 tons of cocaine in 2017 alone. The Colombian defense ministry claims to have destroyed over 80,000 hectares of coca and confiscated over 400 tons of cocaine in 2018 alone. The mission of eradicating cocaine is a complicated task because of several issues. Firstly, farmers have no alternatives to earn livelihood and entirely depend on coca farming to feed. Secondly, the Colombian regime lacks the capacity to counter illegal groups that control the industry. Such groups have considerable financial resources to lure government officials and bribe authorities. Additionally, there is a high degree of corruption within the Colombian government. At the international level, foreign powers have not managed to strike a lasting agreement on tackling Colombia’s illicit drug trade. Although Europe and the United Nations have proposed substituting crops and forced eradication through aerial fumigation, these methods have not been successful. Colombia lacks an effective crop substitution program. Furthermore, cartels that control coca production are incredibly violent.

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            Experience has proved that eradicating crops is not an adequate measure of solving Colombia’s drug crime problem. Perhaps this is why international bodies such as the UNODC support administrative efforts to help farmers who abandon coca farming. Examples of collaborative programs that have been designed to help farmers are the Productive Projects Program and the Forest Warden Families Program. Such initiatives help ensure that former coca farmers switch to legal incomes that are adequate for sustenance. Rural activities designed to rehabilitate former coca farmers are incorporated into comprehensive socio-economic development projects to benefit all Colombian populations. The UNODC guesstimates that the area under coca cultivation reduced between 2009 and 2010 (Bagley 8). However, these figures increased in the succeeding years. This shows that current efforts are not sufficient to solve Colombia’s illicit drug trade crisis.

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            The involvement of the Colombian military has also been a critical strategy against cocaine production and trafficking. While it has achieved moderate success, it has not resulted in significant changes. Even in locations where military presence is significant, the justice system remains inefficient. If the state has not managed to establish significant presence and control, the presence of the military and police officers does not have any potential to shift the status quo. The capacity of the judiciary to impact changes on the ground in areas where coca is cultivated has particularly proven inadequate. Therefore, the presence of the police and the military promises little effect. There is a high level of incompetence among Colombian institutions, which seems to be a critical source of the ensuing drug problems.

            In conclusion, Colombia’s drug crimes represent a critical and tricky question that demands international, national, and local collaborative efforts both from a political and societal perspective. The challenge of drug trafficking in Colombia is mainly attributed to highly organized crime groups and corruption that runs deep within administrative systems. Colombia is renowned for its notorious cartels that manage drug operations and criminal activities in the country.  Poverty contributes to the growth and perpetuation of cocaine trafficking in Colombia. Much of the coca used in the production of cocaine is cultivated in remote areas where authorities are absent, and locals lack access to Colombia’s legal economy. Colombian authorities have tried to curb the production and sale of cocaine through various methods. The most prevalent methods are the eradication of coca plants via spraying chemicals. Experience has proved that eradicating crops is not an adequate measure of solving Colombia’s drug crime problem. The involvement of the Colombian military has also been a critical strategy against cocaine production and trafficking. While it has achieved moderate success, it has not resulted in significant changes.

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Why do Adolescents Use Drugs?

Drug use among adolescents and young adults is a key emerging problem in the United States today. Over the past century, an alarming surge in illicit drug use has been witnessed among the American youth and, essentially, drawing national attention to this existential scourge. Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) strives to address this challenge by providing unlimited access to evidence-based information on drug abuse prevalence among the youth, emerging drug-related challenges such as the opioid epidemic, and by providing an assortment of much-needed healthcare resources. 

Read also Drug and Substance Abuse Among School-aged Youth

Alcohol, marijuana, stimulants, and hallucinogens are among the most common categories of drugs currently abused and misused by adolescents and emerging adults today. According to a survey conducted by the American Addiction Centers (2020), the United States has experienced a persistent upsurge in substance abuse incidences among adolescents and young adults; with statistics placing the current figure at 34.1 million young adults (ranging between 18 and 25 years of age). This is mostly worrying given the fact that a sizeable population of young adults starts abusing drugs at a comparatively younger age compared to antecedent generations. This is a major source of concern given that they are most impressionable at this age and are mostly susceptible to irreparable physical and psychosocial damage due to drug dependence. They may also fail to understand the short-term and long-term implications of their choices at present and serious consequences such as the health risks involved, the possibility of death due linked to drug overdose events, and the implications of physical and psychological dependence.

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An in-depth focus on the scope of drug abuse among adolescents and emerging adults is, therefore, necessary; in addition to conducting and thorough overview of its defining characteristics among this sociodemographic population. Furthermore, this discussion will also focus on the main reasons behind the current substance abuse prevalence among adolescents and young adults compared to other age groups and the most appropriate interventions available today, coupled with potential family implications.

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Scope of the Problem

            Illicit drug use, more so among adolescents and emerging adults, remains an ever-present healthcare challenge in the United States today.  To behavioral health experts such as Ronald Chervin, substance abuse is a serious public-health challenge given that users are typically oblivious of the burden drug use places upon them, their families, and the community as a whole.  Even more worrying is the influence of major emerging trends that have, seemingly, occasioned, an exponential increase in the use of new drug subtypes such as CNS stimulants, inhalants, dissociative anesthetics, opioids, behavior such as binge drinking, and a sudden shift towards the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes).

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The American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S Preventive Service Task Force have continually been at the vanguard of this problem through various efforts geared towards evaluating the scope of substance abuse among the youth to put the problem into perspective. Among one of the most impactful surveys which initially brought the issue to national attention was a 2015 qualitative program dubbed the Youth Risk Behavior Survey whose results indicated that 10% of school-going adolescents were already indulging in illicit drugs at home and within the school campus (Czaderny, 2020).

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However, it is noteworthy to acknowledge that a common thread among cases involving school-going adolescent drug users is the abuse of alcohol, tobacco, e-cigarettes and vaping, marijuana, and hallucinogens such as Salvia divinorum and Psilocybin mushrooms. This current state has mostly been attributed to erroneous “low-risk perceptions” by adolescents and an overall increase in the non-medical consumption of prescription drugs such a prescription opioids and codeine cough syrup.  For instance, McGue & Hicks (2016) states that opioid-related hospitalizations of adolescents and young adults between 1997 to 2012 increases by 165% and portends an upsetting drug-related public-health reality confronting the United States in the coming decade.

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Characteristics and Comorbidities

            Several key factors distinguish drug use among adolescent and younger adults from its antecedents and other age-groups. Perhaps the most common among these is the fact that drug users in this demographic currently use drugs in an environment quite different from the ones their precursors were attuned to. The wide range of societal and technological changes experienced within the second half of the 20th century have had a major profound impact on drug use trends among the youth today. One such case in point was the shift from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes; which is mostly recognized as a key catalyst for a general increase in drug abuse incidences among the youth. Additionally, drug abuse among adolescents and the youth is also characterized by drug-dependence and frequent mood swings when unable to access their drug of choice. Users also develop strained interpersonal relationships with close family members and also find it difficult to keep friends. Their financial condition may also deteriorate given that considerable amount of their budget is allocated to drugs and often prioritized over other needs. This ultimately increases the overall likelihood of their involvement in illegal activities such as prostitution, inappropriate sexual behavior, extortion, and a myriad of street crimes. Moreover, sociodemographic differences are also evident in drug use patterns in the United States today. According to Wilson & Janoff (2016), the prevalence rate drug use among male adolescents is considerably higher compared to female users and closely tied to associated comorbidities. While male adolescents are most likely to use scheduled prescription-type illicit drugs, females are known to abuse non-medical options such as tranquilizers. Yet, the most common comorbidities associated with illicit drug use among adolescent males and females are untreated mental illnesses, environmental influences such as stress and trauma, and a wide array of genetic and epigenetic influences.

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Prevalence of Drug Use among Adolescents

Apart from its extant recognition as a global public health concern, drug use among the adolescents and young adults has physical and psychosocial consequences for users. Even with comprehensive knowledge of these facts, coupled with concerted drug-prevention efforts by agencies such as the Healthy People Consortium, drug use remains an existential problem for the youth and their advancement in contemporary society. This is more apparent in the ever-soaring prevalence of drug use disorders mostly attributed to early initiation into substance abuse.

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According to a recent survey by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 1 every 5 noninstitutionalized minors have used either a single or spectrum of illicit drugs within the past year, with the number expected to double two-fold within the coming decade (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2021). Among the population of adolescents and young adults in the United States, drug use of this type is commonly punctuated by the illicit use of alcohol, marijuana, and prescription painkillers. The current prevalence of drug use among individuals within this particular demographic has mostly been attributed to untreated mental health illnesses such as major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and mood disorders such as borderline personality disorder (BPD) and bipolar disorder (BD). This is further exacerbated by a limited access to professional to diagnose the specific mental health condition ailing the individual in question while kick-starting the treatment process (Santrock, 2013). Peer influence at home and within the school campus also plays a major role in influencing vulnerable populations such as individuals exposed to high levels of stress and trauma into drug use.

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Interventions and Family Implications   

            Early interventions are necessary for adolescents and young adults is necessary to inhibit the progression of unhealthy behaviors while avoiding cumulative effects associated with substance use disorders. Early intervention is also necessary in preventing the life-long physical and mental health problems associated with drug dependence today. The following are major evidence-based interventions currently recommended for adolescents and young adults and accompanying family implications. Today, schools at the very frontline of the fight against substance abuse in society, which is why school-based interventions are increasingly becoming popular. This has mostly been influenced by the increased prevalence of substance abuse and initiation, particularly among school-going adolescents across state. School-based interventions are, therefore, an effective deterrent against substance abuse among a vulnerable population. For instance, such efforts have been hailed for preventing the youth from indulging in illicit alcohol and tobacco use while significantly reducing incidences of smoking initiation (Donovan, 2015). However, it is crucial to also consider the family implication for the school-based intervention program. Families are commonly expected to enroll students into programs of this type while also actively participating in follow-up interventions to build their social competence. Moreover, the community has long remained one of the most effective tools in combating emerging problems such as drug abuse in society through community-based drug prevention programs.

Today, community-based drug prevention programs essentially function as a conduit for positive character influence on at-risk populations such as the youth. Such programs also seek to identify adults guilty of initiating vulnerable persons into drug use and proceeding to report them to the relevant authorities.  Hoffmann (2017) also asserts that community-based drug prevention programs also have major family implications, during and after implementation. Among the most common impacts is its ability to streamline family functioning among vulnerable individuals, especially through respected community leaders.

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Four Categories of Street Drugs and an Example of Each

The four main categories of street drugs include cannabinoids such as marijuana, opioids such as heroin, stimulants such as cocaine, and club drugs such methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) (Center on Addiction, 2017). Marijuana is a form of cannabinoids which is used through smoking or swallowing. Its common street names include weed, ganja, bud joint or grass among others. The main physical changes associated with use of marijuana include lack of coordination, bloodshot eyes, increased snacks cravings, lethargic, sleepy and fast heart rate. Marijuana use also causes behavioral changes to include secretiveness, lack of focus and confusion, misjudging time, unusual talkative, and dropping usual activities especially studies.

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Heroin is a form of opioids which can be snorted, smoked or injected. Its main street names include brown sugar, dope, skunk, white horse, junk, H, cheese, or skag among others. The signs and symptoms of using heroin include dry mouth, breath shortness, small or constricted pupils, disorientation, sudden change of action or behaviors, hyper alertness cycles followed by nodding off suddenly, and droopy appearance that seems like edges are heavy.

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Cocaine is a form of stimulant which is used through injecting, smoking or snorting. Its common street names include crack, coke, toot, snow, candy, C, rock, blow, Charlie, snow or flake among others. The signs and symptoms associated with use of cocaine include increased agitation, disinhibition, changes in focus and concentration increased movement, muscle tics or signs of involuntary movements, effusive enthusiasm, increased symptoms of cold and nose bleeding. Others include dilated pupils, social isolation, deterioration in hygiene habits, change in eating and sleeping patterns, loss of interest in things which brought joy once, burn marks on lips and hands, residue of white powder around the mouth and nose, and psychosis.

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Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a form of club drugs that is used through swallowing, injecting or snorting. Its common street names include ecstasy, molly, clarity, upper, eve, Adam, peace and lover’s speed. Some of the signs and symptoms associated with MDMA include hallucination, euphoria, decreased thirst and appetite, heightened sense of mental clarity,, heightened emotions, anxiety, depression, fatigue irritability, memory and attention issues, insomnia, mental confusion, lack of motor control, paranoia, hostility, mood swing, and panic attacks. Others include sweating, teeth clenching, empathic feelings, and chills (Center on Addiction, 2017).

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Legalization of All Drugs Sample Argumentative Essay

Legalization of All Drugs

The push towards legalization of all drugs previously been deemed illegal is a paradigm shift that is quickly gaining traction across the globe. Now commonly referred to as drug liberalization, this idea calls for the legalization of all drugs whose use had been prohibited while also working towards reducing and eliminating all laws that impede the actualizing this goal. All over the globe, attitudes towards drugs are transforming with many even suggesting that their legalization will solve those problems they have time and again been blamed for. The states of Colorado and California are prime examples of jurisdictions that choose to embrace this concept by decriminalizing marijuana and making it possible for those who required it the most (persons suffering from chronic diseases) to access it. These states are aping similar policy changes that had been implemented in The Kingdom of Netherlands where possessions use, and sale of marijuana had been legalized (Becker). It was through this pilot program that researchers were able to establish that the possession of this particular substance had no impact on the rate of use among individuals in a selected population. Legalization of other drugs was therefore seen as the only viable course of action that would now relieve governments and law enforcement agencies of the strenuous probation work. The purpose of this essay is, therefore, to help bring this issue into perspective by exploring arguments on the benefits of the legalization of drugs together with a look into possible adverse effects.

Read also Four Categories of Street Drugs and an Example of Each

Legalization of drugs is fast becoming the best option since prohibition has apparently failed. The War on Drugs is an indication of the failure of this policy where the Federal government pumped millions of dollars in taxpayer money. Instead of using prevention and setting up social programs to tackle social issues that may be plaguing the inner city, the response to the drug menace has been the deployment of law enforcement agencies to curb drug use. The result of this strategy has been crippling to marginalized communities caught in the cross-fire. Young individuals have been arrested for possession of these drugs and slapped with mandatory minimum sentences (Bogart 34). It is even more surprising is that these sentences are handed out with full knowledge of the fact that a majority of the said individuals are non-violent first-time offenders. In most cases, these individuals are the sole breadwinners for their families and their incarceration deals a blow to their families. Criminalization of drugs has done more damage than good. Illegal trafficking of these drugs still thrives, leaving a trail of death and destruction. Abuse ruins the lives of habitual users while violence escalates to unprecedented levels. Mexico is a prime example of the damage caused by laws prohibiting drugs. Drug barons have made massive gains both in wealth and influence, sparking turf wars for the control of territories to conduct their illegal trade.  Legalization of drugs would enable enterprising individuals to set up a legitimate business that will be taxed by the government, evaluated for quality control in addition to constant quality control.

Secondly, there is lack of reliable evidence on the purported harmful nature of illicit drugs. In fact, proponents of the criminalizing drugs are usually at pains to provide empirical evidence proving that illegal drugs are indeed detrimental in comparison to other substances and human activities. The only harmful effects that are apparently visible from making these drugs illegal are the thousands of individuals jailed for possession or intention to distribute, locking a considerable section of society behind bars. Housing these individuals is a costly venture that requires substantial funding from state and federal governments, money that could be put to better use dealing with social problems that draw people to drugs. Moreover, the intentions of those criminalizing drugs are not yet clear since most of them often use shibboleth principles to justify their stance. Legalizing drugs would have a wide range of benefits that may improve the lives of thousands of individuals. Most recently, scientists have acknowledged the benefits of using MDMA and psychedelic mushrooms in dealing with a wide range of depressive disorders. Persons that had been struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and bipolar disorder have found reprieve in the use of these drugs since they aid them in suppressing symptoms associated with the conditions mentioned (Goldstein). Medical marijuana has been used as a remedy for patients experiencing chronic pain and is a better option compared to its synthetic counterparts. Opiates have been widely criticized for their adverse effects on patients in addition to being a leading cause of addiction. Even more surprising is the fact that they are legal while marijuana, a drug that has been found to have a wide range of medicinal benefits declared illegal. The only convincing argument explaining this phenomenon is that corporations (in the form of pharmaceutical companies) are trying to create a monopoly for their selfish gains.

Detractors of the Legalization Lobby often make repeated attempts to poke holes at the argument that billions of dollars have been wasted in fighting. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) however claim that the money has been put to good use, preventing this menace from reaching dangerous levels. Their task has been to dismantle organizations responsible for trafficking and permeation of these drugs into the United States, and in the process saving young persons from descending into addiction. Legalization of drugs is hence viewed as an undoing of efforts that had been made previously in the fight against its spread. Addiction rates and use amongst underage individuals would soar as was the case in Alaska (Wainwright 13). Other view legalization of drugs as a dangerous mirage that is capable of harming a people more than they could even imagine. Legalizing drugs such as cocaine and heroin would make the drug easily accessible and cheaper, also when users are acutely aware of the extent to which it can harm their lives. It is viewed as an unrealistic approach since a black market for the drugs would still exist and with an increased chance of drug overdose. The numbers of individuals institutionalized due to addiction would also be on the rise since it is a widely known fact that there are those with an eroded sense of willpower that would be susceptible to drug abuse. Legalization is seen as allowing individuals to make conscious decisions that will most likely end up harming their bodies and the relationships that they have with those around them.

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In conclusion, legalization of drugs is a nascent point of view that is quickly gaining popularity around the world. Proponents of this idea believe it to be a lasting solution to the so-called drug nuisance coupled with the medical benefits that would accrue from lifting the ban. Nevertheless, legalization would also lead to a black market resulting in cheaper low-quality drugs worsening the state of addiction within a defined population.

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Violence and Drugs in Centervale – Defending Abby – Sample Answer

Over the period, the United States of America has been at war. Not a physical battle, but a fight with drug abuse and various forms of domestic violence. Authorities have put their efforts on bringing the culprits to justice. Those who are typically found culpable for either of the crimes have been sentenced to some periods in prison as a way of rectifying their illegal actions (Int’L, 2015). That is why; looking at the case involving Abby and Bobby there is a clear basis in the law that can be applied in bringing them to books.

In law, there is an aspect that states ‘a person arrested remains as a suspect until proven guilty.’ Proving of a case depends on the shreds of evidence that get presented in court by the prosecutor. Therefore, in proving a case against a suspected criminal, a prosecutor will majorly have to rely on the pieces of evidence that are gathered at the scene of the crime. Having this information, as a police officer, the evidence which I witnessed at the couple’s house must be protected so that the same can get applied during the trial process the said couple. In safeguarding the evidence, it will be instrumental for me to undertake two critical actions. First, I will need to inform both Christiana and David who were to remain at the scene of the crime about the illegal things which I saw in the house so that they become aware of the same as they continue to code off the house. Secondly, it will be of importance if I equally take photos of these illegal products in the house which in any case, can be used in backing up the case against

the two. Besides, in case of any further discovery of evidence either from their house or in their possession, an almost similar procedure can equally apply. The only distinction will be the need to take the said evidence and keep them under my jurisdiction or take them directly to the prosecutor who might decide to keep them as per the court’s acts on procedures of storing evidence.

Based on the utterances which were made by Abby in our presence, there is enough ground upon which she can get arrested. Take for instance, while her husband was being taken away, Abby shouted that she would sell the remaining stock of “goods” and raise the money which he would use to bail out Bobby. At the time of her utterance, other police officers were not aware of the kind of goods she was referring to except me. Since I had already noticed a baggie of marijuana, it was clear that apart from being consumers of marijuana as a drug, these couples were also trading on this illegal product upon which they were raising money for their other expenses. Her association with Bobby was also a platform upon which she can get arrested. She knew how violent and armed Bobby was but she did not bother to report him to the nearest police station yet there were clear signs that her life was continuously being placed at risk.

All of the illegal activities which both couples were engaging in would be more visible if their house was to be searched in totality. Based on the laws, searching an offender’s home can just be carried by police officers upon having a warrant for conducting the same from the court. In securing a search warrant, the police officer concerned with the search activity must swear an affidavit which contains reasons for the need of undertaking a search activity in the house of an offender. Just as the case of this couple, in an affidavit for securing a search warrant, I would include the marijuana and presence of a gun in the couple’s house which I saw as part of reasons for obtaining such a permit. The presence of the said two illegal products serves as evidence that some of the similar kinds of products might be available in the hidden corners of the couple’s house.

As a method of preventing interference with the evidence which already I had seen inside the house of this couple, and any other form of evidence that might be available, the best way both Christina and David would protect such evidence is by coding off the entire area and its locality from any form of penetration. The best material used in such cases is a ribbon with writings of crime scenes around it as such would bar the public away from the locality of the house (Rahtz, 2012). The officers, also, need to stay attentive and alert all around until that time when the entire evidence might have been collected.

Search warrant always has various reasons as to why it might be carried out on a person’s house. For instance, a search might be carried out with the aim of protecting the officers and the public from any other possible attacks, preventing the offender from possible escape or making a discovery and subsequent seizing of the elements of crimes from the offender (Shahidullah, 2008). Therefore, based on this case, the reason for the need of the search warrant is to look for the available illegal products (marijuana, guns and any other) that were at the premises of Abby and Bobby. Once these illegal products are identified and taken away, they can be used for justifying the case concerning these two people.

Upon Arrival at the precinct of Abby and Booby, undertaking a personal search on them would be only possible upon approval by the court. This is because forcefully searching get considered as a trespass by law since it goes against the rights of the accused. Though if there can be an agreement with them, examining them would be made accessible and more legal. At the crime scene even without taking any measure of searching, there will be the presence of blood samples which will have dropped as a result of a small fracture that both of them might have suffered as result of their fighting. Because of the battle that is evidential from this couple in addition to signs of abuse of drugs, there might be significant need of proving this as part of the case. Because it is not legal to forcefully search person’s body without his or her consent or approval by the court, based on this kind of scenario, it would be appropriate to seek for permission from the courts to undertake this step. It is more of evidence that because the body parts of each of them had some fractures, both might be hibernating some form of crude weapon on them. Additionally, since their behavior seems to be more of influenced by subsistence abuses which evidently is inside their house, there is some possibility that they might have some in their pocket. For such a reason, searching their pockets, for example, would be most appropriate since it would assist in proving the case against the two beyond any other reasonable doubts.

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A Critical Analysis of Drugs Used in Managing Asthma

Asthma ranks as one of the most crippling conditions owing to its adverse effects on those it afflicts. Those with this condition complain of obstructed airways that make the whole breathing process a hard nut to crack. Even worse are reports by patients of their airways being inflamed, a state of affairs that causes them great distress. These symptoms can be triggered at any moment by a wide range of factors that lead the individual in question to experience significant pain and experience difficulty when attempting to breathe during this intricate period. Chest tightness, coughing and chest tightness soon follows, proving the bane of such an individual’s life (Sheen, 2011). Moreover, the lives of such individuals are significantly affected by the condition since they are always at risk of experiencing an attack at any given moment. It’s vital to acknowledge that the condition can either be occupational or stem from an individual’s childhood and since it has no cure, the only viable option is attempting to manage it. Immunologists and allergist have over the years spent countless hours in medical labs trying to develop medication to manage the condition. The following are some popular asthma management medication together with a critical analysis of the same.

There are a plethora of factors that are considered when deciding which asthma medication best suits a patient. Physicians put the symptoms, age and possible triggers into consideration before determining which medication would best suit the individual. The idea behind using these medications is to reduce the inflammation allowing the subject to breathe usually without any symptoms of the condition. Long-term medications are the most common in the treatment of this condition and are ingested on a daily basis to prevent asthma symptoms from manifesting themselves. These may include inhaled corticosteroids, leukotriene modifiers, beta agonists, combination inhalers and theophylline (Arshad and Babu, 2009). These medications are in demand due to the speed at which they deal with the said affliction. Others, such as the quick-relief medications, are necessarily a quick fix solution meant to bring relief to asthma symptoms that may have manifested themselves at a given time. They are also used by asthmatic individuals who would want to engage physically straining activities such as exercise sessions (Soni, 2016). Oral corticosteroids and ipratropium are examples of quick-relief medications that can be put to use in dealing with this particular condition (Asthma sourcebook, n.d.). Furthermore, allergy medications are commonly used in the management of asthma, with Xolair and immunotherapy the most common options.

A primary concern among most asthma patients are the exorbitant prices that they are confronted with when attempting to find a long-term solution for their condition. The pricy nature of these medicines locks out most of those who would have benefited greatly from these treatment options with a chance to manage their condition (O’Byrne and Thomson, 2011). Medicines are meant to assist those in distress, but in this particular case, it seems as though the only entity benefitting from this arrangement are large pharmaceutical companies. Moreover, medications such as albuterol are notorious for failing to provide remedies for asthma patients. It has been noted, and with great concern, that it does not decongest the airways, which points to a flaw in its development.

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Dealing With A Client Who is Decompensating, Abusing Drugs And Taking Ritalin for Adult ADHD

Assignment Instructions

Your manager asks you to see a client who appears to be decompensating. He has stopped coming to the center and his wife asks you for assistance. She says he is not eating, sleeps all day and rarely gets out of the house. He is talking gibberish to himself and mumbles profanities. She is afraid that he may harm her or their 3-year-old child. She further tells you she thinks he may be doing drugs but does not know which ones. She says the last time he was like this he attempted suicide through overdosing on his psych meds. He takes Ritalin for adult ADHD.

  • What is your first priority in this case? Why?
  • What type of treatment would you suggest? Why?
  • What types of therapy might help this client stay on track? Why?

Sample Answer

Counseling Theory

The first priority in this case is to stop for further decompensating and making the client accept to come to the center for further assistance. Decompensating in this case can be done by employing alternative ADHD medication to suppress the symptoms, or by ensuring that he takes his current Ritalin medication, since the decompensating process could have as well be initiated by not taking his current prescribed medication.

The client best treatment would involve the use of the right medication to suppress the symptoms. The current situation could have been initiated by two possibilities. One includes ineffectiveness of Ritalin in the client’s body which can highly happen after a long use, or refusal to take those drugs. If confirmed that the client is taking his medication as prescribed, then the best treatment would be change of the medication. The most probable alternative in this case would be an amphetamine such as Adderall (Shaw et al., 2003). However, in case the situation is caused by not taking medication or he is not using the right dosage plan, the counselor and the wife should determine a way to make him take his medication and in the right way. It is important to note that Ritalin is a stimulant and can cause addiction, especially when wrongly used. Thus it is important for the counselor to investigate if the client could be abusing this drug, and take the measure as early as this is confirmed. Use of medication will help to suppress symptoms and thus making therapy viable.

Read also Article Critique – Functional impairment in Latino children with ADHD

The best therapy to give to the client is the cognitive-behavioral therapy. This is a psychotherapy procedure that is employed to help individuals suffering from ADHD to manage their cognitive ability and behaviors. It gives the clients the ability to live a normal life and to keep ADHD symptoms under control. Psychotherapy, when combined with the right medication makes it easy for ADHD clients to remain under control (Shaw et al., 2003).

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CJM 309 – Drugs of Abuse and The Poly Drug User

Assignment Instructions – Drugs of Abuse and The Poly Drug User

Read about the Drug Categories on the DRE website. Using your textbook, the DEA Drugs of Abuse article, and two other sources, write a five (5) page (APA) formatted research paper. Five pages mean five pages of narrative text. The cover page, abstract and resource page does NOT count toward the length of the assignment.

Topic: Select two of the seven drug categories and compare and contrast the following issues:

  • Compare and contrast drug abuse factors between the two categories
  • Effects on the human body including symptomology
  • Identification and packaging
  • Methods of ingestion
  • Trafficking trends for the two drug categories
  • Issues in criminality

WARNING: Select two categories not two drugs; for example you cannot select cocaine and methamphetamine because they are both in the stimulant category.

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Troubleshooting Creativity – War on Drugs


War on Drugs’ was declared in 1971 by the then president Richard Nixon. The overall goal of the War on Drugs was to eradicate drugs from our societies and to keep America safe, something it has not managed to deliver. Instead, the War on Drugs has unintentionally facilitated a growing criminal market that drives unimaginable levels of profit to organized crime. This situation consequently costs taxpayers a lot of money annually because the government deploys vast military, criminal justice and police resources with people being incarcerated on a historically unprecedented scale(Clegg & Branson, 2015).

How and Why War on Drugs is failing

Categorizing legislative or policy initiatives as failed or failing is a political act aimed at identifying problematic sections of the initiatives in question while appropriating the failures to a particular group of people or to certain individuals. This political process of debating whether political or economic initiatives are failing or succeeding is thus an important evaluation tool that effectively assigns responsibility depending on actions previously taken. To identify the turning point of a public policy, it is necessary to recognize and define its successes or failures. The process ensures that policy makers and communities involved are forced to not only re-examine the measures used to interpret and evaluate policy but also to highlight the challenges involved. Failure debates helps to identify the known and redefine the collective image of success because of the crucial role they play by inviting technical assessment and evaluation of the details involved.

There are conflicting and misleading reports from the various agencies involved in the war on drugs, for instance the Drug Enforcement Agency that is reporting that the U.S. is winning the War on Drugs. While on the other hand the Centers for Disease Control statistics provides the evidence that illegal use of drugs is active in more than 10% of the population with more than 30,000 deaths occurring as a result of drug overdose(Owsley & Serot, 2011). This picture raises several red flags and points to the fact that the war on drugs is not being won. According to the Global Commission on Drug Policy, 40 years of ceaseless fighting this war has however been a big failure(The Global Commission on Drug Policy, 2015).

Like prohibition, the anti-drug effort has failed to accomplish what it set out to do, instead there appears to be more evidence of drug use surrounded by violence and governed by the rising of powerful and ruthless gangs of criminals. The evidence of failure is to be seen on the devastating consequences the war has had on not only individuals but also societies. For instance, it is known for a fact that the initial growth of the AIDS epidemic would have been reduced significantly by U.S drug policies had policy makers moved earlier to institute drug policies relating to harm reduction such as the needle exchange programs for users of drugs.

In the U.S. more than half a trillion dollars is used in the prosecution of people selling or using drugs. Statistics show that there has been a significant increase in the population of prisons from barely 500,000 inmates at the beginning of the Reagan administration to an estimated 3 million inmates(The Global Commission on Drug Policy, 2015). It goes without saying that there also exists sufficient evidence of the bias against African-American communities who make up an astounding percentage of those trapped in a permanent second class citizen status and those in prison as a result of the War on Drugs. The approach by criminal justice on public safety as regards War on Drugs makes it more difficult for the system to function effectively since the arrests of low level offenders interferes with the arrests of high level offenders(Clegg & Branson, 2015). There has always been and there will always be a demand for drugs, it is time that policymakers started thinking outside of the prison cell.

Possible creative solution to the underlying problems facing War on Drugs

In the face of the failure of the War on Drugs, what is needed by the country and the world at large is a new, non-ideological thinking capable of producing fundamental reforms not in the U.S. drug control policies but also in the global policies of drug control. Strategies and policies grounded in health, security, human rights and science should replace drug policies that are driven by ideology. These policies should not only aim to legalize or decriminalize some drugs but most importantly to reduce harm caused by use of drugs. Health and treatment services should be provided with the implementation of syringe access among other measures of harm reduction. These policies should further aim to break the taboo on the debate and reforms on drug laws and stop the vindictive prosecution of young people and poor citizens. The policies should encourage the legal regulation of drugs by governments in order to safeguard not only the health of citizens but also their security, as it will disempower organized crime. Of critical priority would be to focus repressive action on violent criminal organizations as opposed to individuals while focusing law enforcement on harm reduction to individuals, communities, and national security.

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