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Drug Use - Drug Use drug = any psychoactive substance which...

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Drug Use “drug” = any psychoactive substance which alters consciousness drug use is considered deviant behavior only under certain conditions and several important factors affect the issue of “drugs and society” legal status addictive properties impairment potential major effects origins Legal Status Illegal legal | | | | Not legal under any circumstance | e.g. Heroin, Crack cocaine | | | ____________________________________________________________________| | | | | | | uncontrolled Over the Counter | e.g. aspirin special controls applied, e.g. age | for alcohol and tobacco | | Prescription Only morphine, codeine, etc. key issue is that the legal status affects the way in which the drug affects the users and society generally the legal distinctions are largely arbitrary as they vary from country to country and state to state Addictive Properties 1
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drugs vary in the degree to which they are addictive and this affects the degree to which they become social problems major classification is as follows Non-Addictive - creates little or no dependence on the drug. Users may quit or change at will, e.g. aspirin Psychologically addictive - creates psychological dependence which implies the user uses it to meet psychological needs and strongly desires to repeat the pleasurable effects of the drug, e.g. cocaine Physically addictive - bodies develop a physical need for the drug and we go into physical withdrawal, i.e. tremors, etc., if the drug is withdrawn, e.g. heroin it is important that physically addictive drugs are not necessarily more dangerous than psychologically addictive and many dangerous drugs are both physically and psychologically addictive. another important issue is that of tolerance - most users build up tolerance to a drug and need increased quantities to obtain the desired psychological effect.- - their bodies also absorb larger amounts without overdosing Impairment Potential refers to the degree to which use of a drugs affects normal functioning, i.e. judgment, physical reaction times, etc. the length of time for the drug to exit the system is also important - sometimes referred to as the drugs “half life” the greater the impairment, the more danger associated with a particular drug, e.g. alcohol has a great impairment potential as well as a long half life Major Effects drugs can be classified into three main categories based on their effects 2
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stimulants depressants hallucinogens this classification is independent of the drug’s impairment potential since a drug can be highly stimulating as well as highly impairing drugs are also classified as to their potential to make users aggressive as this is related to criminal behavior Origins two important considerations here whether the drug is natural or synthetic geographic location where the major supplies of a drug come from - this often has political and economic ramifications Type of Drugs Marijuana (Cannabis) natural drug which can be grown almost anywhere but best quality (highest THC content) comes from hot climates, e.g. Colombia Gold, Thai Sticks - increasingly grown
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