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Effects of Different Types of Illegal Drugs

The purpose of this research is to compare and contrast the effects of different types of drugs that are abused, and to explore how addiction and dependence on different drugs are similar or different. The plan of the research will be to set forth the context in which drug abuse has assumed significance in recent years and then to explore both legally controlled and legally available substances that have been associated with abuse, dependence, and addiction, with a view toward identifying common and divergent features of such association and assessing positive and negative lines of response to it.

Headlines on drug abuse in the U.S. and around the world suggest to the popular imagination that there is an unprecedented connection between drug use and the deterioration or destruction of the quality of life. In any case, the numbers are impressive. In 1996, some 26 million Americans used illegal drugs. Half of those used them at least once a month. Currently, 5.5 million are so severely affected by drugs that they need clinical treatment (Fox & Miller, 1997). Now there is a view that drug use is a cyclical phenomenon, as pointed out in Holden's (1989) survey of American cocaine epidemics since 1900. Nevertheless, the structure of drug use has been consistent through the 1980s and into the 1990s. In 1991, for example, former students of a Washington, D.C., junior high school were jailed for selling drugs to current students and recruiting students as dealers and couriers for hard drugs, including cocaine and LSD (Brown & O'Harrow, 1991). A survey sponsored by the American Association of Law Schools reported that 20 percent of law students admitted to drug abuse (Hager, 1993).

While most drug-abuse headlines in recent years appear to have been devoted to describing addiction, dependency, and/or sales of such drugs as cocaine and heroin, the fact is that unhealthy dependence on such legal substances as prescription drugs and alcohol h...

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Effects of Different Types of Illegal Drugs. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 22:31, September 02, 2015, from