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Heroin Prevalence Factors

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Lander Compton

on 9 May 2013

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Transcript of Heroin Prevalence Factors

Heroin Factors Increasing USA's Heroin Addiction Consequently... Inequality Biological Predisposition Anomie-Strain Supply Inequality + Supply Predisposition + Strain Predisposition + Inequality Supply + Strain CIA - In order to gain support for its anti-communist agenda in Vietnam, the CIA transported heroin for various regimes. The increased availability of heroin caused many US soldiers in Vietnam to become addicts. Additionally, the same labs the CIA was helping, ended up exporting directly to the USA.
China - Despite China's ban on opium imports in 1790, British merchants continued to export to China. The Chinese emperor, in 1838 seized all British illegal opium cargo at Chinese ports and destroyed it. Consequently Britain declared war. The end result was that China was forced to accept opium imports. This lead to 27% of China's male population becoming addicts.
WWII - The USA lost its opium supply in Asia. Resultantly the USA turned to Central and South American sources. When the war ended the USA went back to the Asian opium strain. Poor farmers south of the USA now had an excess of opium. This dynamic lead to the Sinaloa Cartel and an illegal supply of opium. The large supply of heroin illegally available to the USA drives down prices and allows the poor to acquire it more easily.

In some countries, even heroin is not affordable, so they resort to even more dangerous methods to get high. Poor Mexican farmers who once benefited from USA demand for opium during WWII were now, after WWII, facing supply excesses. This lead drug traders to exploit the excess resources and set up illegal trafficking routes throughout the USA leading to the largest drug cartel; the Sinaloa drug cartel.
Most opium farmers remain poor, but the strain upon their society makes them feel forced to continue selling their product.
As Anomie-Strain theory predicts, societies that set goals for their population, but do not provide the means to achieve those goals, cause a part of that population to turn to deviant means to achieve those goals. Karl Marx believed that capitalistic societies caused their population to feel isolated and lack social cohesion. He also believed that such societies would continue to polarize until the rich few controlled most of the assets, while the poor owned relatively little. This has happened in the USA. The top 1% control nearly 36% of the nations wealth. The top 20% control 90% of the wealth leaving 80% of the country's population with just 10% of the nation's resources. Morphine is made of concentrated quantities of the chemical in the poppy plant that mimics natural human endorphins. Like endorphins, these chemicals attach to opiate sensors in the brains limbic system. The flood of these chemicals cause euphoria. Heroin takes this one step further by adding a lipid soluble compound that allows more of the chemical to pass the blood brain barrier. These drugs exploit natural human systems evolved to reduce stress, pain, and increase happiness. Societies that place high expectations on their population, but do not provide them with a means to achieve those expected goals, cause a percentage of the population to turn to deviants means to achieve. Evolution has already set up a natural reward system in the human brain. It may act a little like Skinner's operant conditioning; rewarding the human organism with feel good endorphins, dopamine, or/and serotonin, when the organism does something either physically good, or a deed considered socially good. Narcotics provide a way to do this artificially and on demand. The body has not evolved, however, to handle the nuances and potency of some of these drugs. Addiction, both psychological and physiological, is the result.

Add to a human disposition of transcendent need, a strain upon its society, and the human is more likely to succumb to drug abuse. Exasperating the issue is a highly reactionary society that prefers to deal with its problems through punitive measures, rather than facing certain truths about itself. These punitive measures involve a corrupt system of corrections whereby up to 1 % of the adult population is incarcerated at an average cost of $31,307 per year, per individual. The financial drain, as well as prison rapes and other abuses, add more problems than it solves.

As Skinner said:

"What's wrong with punishments is that they work immediately, but give no long-term results. The responses to punishment are either the urge to escape, to counterattack, or a stubborn apathy. These are the bad effects you get in prisons or schools, or wherever punishments are used." Inequality has an effect on what types of drugs the user can afford. Consequently, because heroin is generally inexpensive in the USA, heroin addiction disproportionally affects the poor. Add to that a predisposition to seek transcendence when the poor have few alternative methods to reach it, and we have an increased risk of heroin addiction. All of these combined factors work together to increase the prevalence of heroin addiction. Heroin Mimics the Chemical Structure of Endorphins Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
Lander R. F. Compton III
SOC 245-450 More About Prison Strain This is not sustainable. Although whites and blacks have about the same rate of drug abuse, blacks are incarcerated far more often. At the low end of this spectrum is 5 blacks for every 1 white individual that is incarcerated. In some areas the ratio is as much as 20 to 1.
The black population in the USA is only 12.6% whereas the white population is 72.4% This is Inequality in Action! Papaver somniferum (the opium poppy) From this flower narcotics are derived. Heroin substitute: Krokodil SAMHSA
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