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A presentation exploring the harms on health and society that legal and illegal drugs can cause

rebecca root

on 15 November 2012

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DRUGS LEGAL ILLEGAL Nicotine Alcohol Prescription
Drugs Features Consequences Prevention Related Theories Health Society Related Theories Consequences Features Related Theories Prevention Consequences Features > licensed medicine regulated by legislation= need a prescription to get it

> Over-the-counter drugs= don't need a prescription

> Usually cost £7.25/ prescription

>Have expiry dates

>many different types to tackle all sorts of illnesses Society Health > Hundreds of different side effects

>Opiods - addiction and abuse

>CNS Drugs- decreased brain function

>Stimulants- anxiety, paranoia, seizures...

>just like any drugs overdoses can cause death
- Whitney Houston
- Heath Ledger
-Courtney Love > Teens take PDs to get high
- more teens abuse PDs than marijuana
- 2008- 2.1million teens aged 12-17 reported abusing P.Ds

> mistakes with P.Ds lead to fatalities in hospitals and clinics
- USA- mistakes with P.Ds cost the gvevrnet over $76billion/year
-4th leading cause of death after cancer, strokes and heart disease

>Black Market

> people believe they are safe > like street drugs they carry side effects

>can become addictive and lead to abuse

>The most common in abuse are opiods, depressants and stimulants >4 ways to prevent (2011 drug abuse prevention plan US):
-Proper Medication Disposal

>means treating depression, lonliness and social isolation with other methods

>research!!! -develop some new drugs please

>Suggestion: ISTOP (Internet System for Tracking Over- Prescribing) >Classical- the benefits of taking prescription drugs outweigh the side effects
- abusing P.Ds is worth it because there is a low chance of getting caught

> Positivist- people with biological or psychological dispositions to addicition or depression may cause P.D abuse >It was synthesised for smoking in 1904

>C10 H14 N2+chemical imperical formula

>Mixed with tabacco in cigarettes

>400 toxic substances+4000 unknown chemical compounds

>2011- discovered it can be as addictive as cocaine and heroine due to stimulants

> In 7 mins blood travels to the brain leading to beta endorphines

>1998-2005+ 1.5% increase in nicotine amounts in cigarettes > 120,000 deaths/ yr due to smoking

> Second hand smoke is cause of over 80% of asthma cases

> 60mg of nicotine will kill you instantly

> Nicotine poisoning contributes to 87% of deaths > Statistics show that smokers are more likely to start smoking marijuana too

>The US spends $75.5 billion on medicene to treat nicotine addiction a year

> > the government introduced a smoking ban in the UK and other parts of the EU 2006/2007

> 2002-07 heart attacks reduced by 2.4%

> Asthma decreased by 20.8%

Ban led to +300,000 quitters

>Hard hitting commercials feature on TV

> Warnings on cigarette packets >Legal A drug

>Depressant drug- slows person down

>Relaxes muscles and feel sleepy

>Misused in UK
-regular drinkers
-people addicted

>10million people are regular drinkers

> 6.4% of addicted people

>UK Costs: Alcohol-related harms & crime accounting +/- £20billion/year

>Increased consumption since 1950 Health Society > PHYSICAL HARMS:

> Ill health

>Wide range of serious health problems

-E.G. Liver & kidney disease, cancer of the mouth and throat, liver, laryngeal, colon and breast cancer, acute and chronic pancreatitis, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, stroke, fatal alcohol syndrome > 1.2 million incidents of violent crime a year

>1.1 million (2009/2010) of hospital admissions from alcohol misuse

> 6% of all road casualties/driving offences

> Manslaughter due to alcohol-related violence

> Social disturbance

> Breaches of the peace and public disorder

> 40% of domestic violence cases/family offenses are alcohol related

> Sexual assault

> Causes detrimental effect on families and society > Alcohol Physical diseases + Affects to Society= Crime

>Alcohol is legal BUT leads to illegal behavior ‘under the influence of drink’

> Criminological theories:
-Social disorganization
-Feminism Ecstasy Features > Developed in 1912 by a pharmaceutical company

> Psychotherapy medication

> 'Party drug'

> synthetic drug with hallucinogenic and stimulant effects.

> Commonly in pills, but also injected (GHB liquid) or taken as crystals.

> Bitter taste. Consequences Health Society SHORT TERM
>Impaired judgement

> Anxiety, tremors and paranoia

>Muscle tension, nausea, teeth clenching and blurred vision, faintness, chills

>Mood swings and convulsion

> Faintness and confusion


>Brain damage

>Violence and psychosis

>Death > Peer group influence

>Low self-esteem and insecurity

> Dysfunctional social network

>Lack of aspirations

> Can lead to corruption-Organized crime Related Theories >Merton’s theory of anomie

> Sutherland's differential association

> Cohen's subcultural theory

> Becker's rational choice theory

> MDMA users are less prone to crime

> Ecstasy can lead to violence due to hallocinogenic properties

> Becker's economic theory

> Spurious or co-morbid model Opiums
and its Alkaloids Features Prevention Consequences Society Health >Narcotic drug type

> Extracted from natural plants that contain alkaloids like morphine

> Relax the nervous system- sedative and calming

> Can create euphoria

> Can be use as a painkiller

> Used to produce addictive substances like heroin > Sleepiness

> Numb muscles

> Sweating

> Vomiting

> Induces a coma

> Addiction

> Death > Relation to patrimony crimes to finance the drug dependence

> Strong relationship betwen dependence and crime Robert Agnew's Strain Theory- choices?

Rational Choice Deterrence Theory- Pros and Cons? - Routine theory - smoking becomes habit and fits into persons routine CONCLUSION:


-Illegal drugs cause more harm to society and to individuals

-Alcohol results in more violence but nicotine causes more deaths

> Legal drugs have less of an affect on crime - affect the individual more than society

-Illegal drugs = more alarming figures

> Illegal drugs have more effects on health and society

> It is mroe liekly that an addict of illegal drugs will commit a crime

- Use of legal drugs affects others and can lead to crime where illegal drugs leads directly to crime and has social implications


> Both affect individual and society

> Both can lead to addiction

> Legal drug users can end up being illegal drug users

> Gov. interventions = put high taxes and imposed ban on both drug types INTRODUCTION

alchohol ecstasy
prescription drugs opium
nicotine cannabis

>comparing the harms Cannabis Features Health Society Related Theories Consequences > Used as far back as 3000BC

> Religious and medical use for Cannabis

> Scientific name =Cannabis sativa

> Street names= Ganja,' 'Grass,' 'Hashish,' 'Hemp,' 'Marijuana,' 'Pot,' 'Reefer' and Weed


> 400 compounds

> Recreational drug or as medicine

> The dried leaves and flowers can be smoked or taken orally with food

> Contains 50% - 70% more cancer-causing substances than tobacco. > Rapid heartbeat

> Disorientation

>Lack of physical coordination

>Depression, sleepiness, panic attacks, anxiety

> Bronchitis


>Deformation of sperm cells

>Decrease of mental functions

>Hereditary defects (pregnant women) > Can cause driver fatalities

>Problems in scholar, professional and personal life

>Peer pressure to try it

> "It helps you to be cooler in your social life"

> Thefts and robberies to get money to buy Cannabis > Differential Association Theory (Sutherland)

>Control Theory (Hirschi) > Further control consumtion

> higher punishments for the production Cocaine
and Crack Features > Was in Coca-Cola- removed it in 1903

> 2008- cocaine was the second most trafficked illegal drug in the world

> Other names: coke, nose candy, white, sniff, flake…

> Extracted from coca leaves

> Was originally developed as a painkiller

> Most often sniffed, it can also be ingested or rubbed into the gums

> Almost impossible to become free of its grip physically and mentally

> Children of cocaine-addicted mothers come into the world as addicts themselves Consequences Health SHORT TERM
> Loss of appetite

> Increased heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, nausea

> Disturbed sleep patterns

> Bizzare, erratic and sometimes violent behaviour

> Intense euphoria, panics and psychosis

> Depression, anxiety and paranoia

> Damage to blood vessels of heart and brain

> Infectious diseases, malnutrition

> Auditory and tactile hallucinations

> Sexual problems, reproductive damage and infertility

> Addiction, irritability and delirium Society > Cocaine is the second most trafficked illegal drug in the world

> Many studies explain a relation between cocaine and homicides Features > Crack cocaine is the crystal form of cocaine

> It is heated and smoked

> The most potent form in which cocaine appears

> Riskiest

> Abuser can become addicted after his or her first time trying crack

> Sold at low prices that even teens can afford to buy it Relation to Crime > In US Federal courts in 2007, 5,477 individuals were found guilty of crack cocaine-related crimes.

> The situation is different in Europe. http://www.thedrinkingsurvey.com/results.php
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