types of illegal drugs and their effects pdf

Types of illegal drugs and their effects pdf

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Effects of Drug Addiction on the Brain

Illicit Drug Addiction and Abuse

Tolerance, Dependence And Withdrawal

Effects of Drug Addiction on the Brain

Foreign data. Theoretical Models. Economic-compulsive link. Types of crime committed by drug users. Systemic link. The suggestion that drugs lead to crime ignores the impact that living conditions can have on an individual and takes no account, according to Serge Brochu an expert in this field , of a body of data showing that most illegal drug users in Canada and elsewhere will never be regular users. It bears repeating that drug use is still, for the most part, a sporadic, recreational, exploratory activity.

Most people are able to manage their drug use without any difficulty. Very few will become regular users, and even fewer will develop a drug addiction. Studies of the link between drug use and crime are currently going through a paradigmatic crisis:. Contemporary conceptual models are not based on a cohesive empirical body e. It is also extremely difficult to incorporate knowledge that conflicts with our deeply held beliefs e.

Finally, we continue to apply negative labels to illegal drug users who in the end would rather be known as drug addicts than criminals. All that aside, the scientific studies conducted over the past two decades provide evidence which tends to show that drug use is one of a number of factors that may explain why some people commit criminal acts. However, they do not represent all or even most illegal drug users, especially in the case of marijuana users.

In other words, illegal drug use does not necessarily lead to an increase in crime, even among people who are regular users or have developed an addiction.

This realization is important in terms of intervention and policy development, because any explanation of crime which attributes a high importance to drugs may lead to the implementation of ineffective intervention policies. Today, although the exact nature of the link between drugs and crime remains uncertain, the scientific literature shows that the drugs-crime connection is much more complex than originally believed.

The goal of this paper is to briefly examine the various links between illegal drug use and crime. This section of the paper briefly presents the various kinds of links between drugs and crime that may explain the coincidence of these two behaviours.

The types of crime associated with the legal status of certain drugs are discussed, including possession, production and purchase of illegal drugs — all of which are indictable offences. Three theoretical models, originally proposed by Goldstein [7] to explain the drugs-violence nexus in the United States, are then examined; these models have since served as a framework to analyze the relationship between drugs and crime.

The first model suggests that crime is linked to the psychopharmacological effects of certain drugs; in other words, it refers to intoxication by drugs which are recognized as undermining judgment and self-control, causing paranoid thoughts or distorting inhibitions and perceptions. The second model refers to economic-compulsive crime and suggests that drug users commit crimes in order to get money to buy drugs. Thirdly, the systemic model suggests that crime among illegal drug users is linked to the drug market.

Canadian data. In Canada, it is an offence under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act [9] to possess, produce, traffic in, or import or export certain drugs. Persons who engage in these activities face legal consequences linked directly or indirectly to their drug use. Consequences directly linked to drug use are simple possession offences, while those indirectly linked are all offences related to the production of or trafficking in illegal drugs.

The number of police-reported incidents involving marijuana also increased from 47, in to 66, incidents in Although the figures confirm the existence of crime directly and indirectly related to the use of illegal drugs possession versus trafficking, importing and production , there are nevertheless certain significant limits as a result of which the number of offences associated with illegal drug use is underestimated.

For example, in Canada, the number of incidents determined through the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey reflects only the most serious offence committed at the time of a criminal incident. Consequently, if a criminal incident involves a robbery and a drug possession offence, only the robbery will be entered in the database.

Research has also clearly shown that a large percentage of crime is never reported to or investigated by police. This is all the more likely to occur with crimes related to illegal drug use. Individuals involved in these types of activities are usually consenting; as a result, they are generally not inclined to report the incidents to police. Moreover, police do not necessarily investigate incidents reported to them. It is not enough for police authorities to be aware of the incident; officers on duty must establish that the situation in question is a criminal justice matter.

Although statistical fluctuations may in some instances indicate changes in the number of crimes committed, the research shows that police resources and strategies adopted in the fight against drugs very much influence official crime statistics. For example, there is every reason to believe that the sharp decline in the number of drug-related offences observed in Canada between and may be explained in part by the introduction of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in By restricting police search and seizure powers, the Charter appreciably reduced the number of police actions related to drug possession.

Similarly, the introduction of alternative measures in that police officers could use when dealing with adult offenders instead of laying formal charges appears to have had a downward effect on the number of charges laid by police. Finally, the figures in Table 1 pertain solely to offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act ; they do not include other types of crime also associated with illegal drug use, such as violent crimes resulting from disputes between dealers and drug buyers, wars waged among criminal organizations over control of the drug trade, and acquisitive crimes committed primarily by hard drug addicts to pay for illegal drugs and maintain their lifestyle.

Statistics similar to those gathered in Canada on crime related to drug use, trafficking and the production of illegal drugs are published the world over. In , marijuana was the substance most commonly cited in drug-related arrests in member states of the European Union. According to British statistics on drug-related offences, In the United States, although The caution regarding the reliability of the Canadian statistics stated above also applies to foreign data.

According to some studies in France, statistics on arrests of drug users must be used with caution, as it is difficult to determine with any certainty the extent to which observed changes reflect changes in the drug user population and whether the changes are in fact linked to changes in police and gendarmerie activities. The link between drugs and crime highlighted in this section pertains directly to drug use and drug possession.

Trafficking in, importing and producing illegal drugs are forms of crime driven by different motives, such as the need to get money to buy drugs to satisfy a drug addiction. Psychopharmacological link. Many people associate drug intoxication with crime, sometimes even violent crime. Although all drugs that have an impact on the nervous system may cause these kinds of reactions, the scientific literature suggests that some drugs are more strongly associated than others with violence of this type.

Inversely, heroin and cannabis are generally associated with a weaker desire to use violence to resolve disputes. The following table is a summary of the main properties of illegal drugs that have been analyzed in relation to violence. Marijuana is generally associated with a reduced desire to use violence. Like marijuana, heroin generally has the effect of lowering the desire to use violence.

In some cases, however, it appears that disturbed or impulsive behaviours may occur during a period of withdrawal. Cocaine abuse can cause paranoia, although that reaction appears to be infrequent among cocaine users as a whole. Some report that cocaine use can also cause irritability and anxiety in users, especially at the end of a period of intoxication. PCP is recognized for its many properties hallucinogenic, analgesic and anesthetic.

Like cocaine, it stimulates the central nervous system. Empirical studies are particularly incomplete for this drug; however, PCP is second to alcohol as the drug most often associated with violence. It can therefore cause strange and violent behaviour. The main property of amphetamines is that, like cocaine, they stimulate the central nervous system. Amphetamine abuse can thus cause paranoia, irritability, anxiety and even toxic psychosis. Inciardi, ed.

Boyd, High Society. However, evidence supporting this model is limited. The few empirical elements are drawn from research which presents numerous methodological problems and does not really help to understand the specific effects of certain drugs. This psychopharmacological model of the link between drug use and crime is based in particular on research data showing that a large number of arrestees and inmates had used drugs on the day they committed the crimes for which they were incarcerated.

The following paragraphs present research findings which show that many criminal acts, some of them violent, are committed in Canada each year under the influence of a drug. There was a rather clear distinction between acquisitory crimes and violent crimes in the prevalence of use of drugs and alcohol.

While homicides and, more pronouncedly, assaults and wounding were predominantly alcohol-related, crimes such as thefts and break and enter showed a higher prevalence of drug use on the day of the crime.

Similarly, self-report surveys in the United States have also indicated a link between criminal activity and the use of alcohol and illicit drugs. This closer link between alcohol use and violent crime has been demonstrated in a number of studies. The study by Brochu et al. The study, which dealt specifically with illegal drug use and crime, produced the following main findings:.

Of those, Although some of these findings offer invaluable information for understanding the meaning that inmates attach to their drug use and crimes, such as the data on drug use on the day of the crime, they are insufficient to show a causal relationship between drug use and criminal activity.

In other words, nothing in these findings clearly demonstrates that the criminal act would not have been committed if the individual had not been under the influence of drugs. Moreover, the findings based on the link that the offender sees between his or her drug use and his or her crimes should be significantly clarified.

In the view of various researchers, [47] some inmates prefer to associate their criminal behaviour with their drug use. This enables them to attribute responsibility for their actions to an outside cause, i.

Although for many inmates this association is indisputable, research has shown that some individuals use it as an excuse for their behaviour and to unburden themselves of part of the weight of the offence.

According to the survey results, three-quarters of respondents admitted that drinking could serve as a pretext for using violence. The psychopharmacological model is powerless to explain why most drug users do not commit crimes of violent offences. This deficiency forces a recognition of the fact that the reasons for violence and criminal activity go beyond the properties of the drugs themselves.

Although many studies indicate that some people used illegal drugs the day they committed their crime, there is little empirical evidence in the scientific literature to establish a direct link between crime, violence and the psychopharmacological effects of drugs. Substance abuse and criminal activity.

Before moving on to crime and violence caused by the illegal drug market, this section examines another aspect that may explain the link between drug use and crime, i. More specifically, according to this explanatory model of the drug-crime relationship, the compelling and recurrent need for drugs and their high price lead some users to commit crimes to obtain the money they need to buy drugs. This model focuses on individuals who have developed a dependence on expensive drugs and assumes that the large amounts of money associated with frequent use of certain illegal drugs constitute an incentive for criminal action.

This explanation of the relationship between drugs and crime is well supported in the literature and the media. Many people attribute a great percentage of crime to this economic-compulsive link. According to Brochu:.

The offenders themselves promote this association by swearing to anyone who will listen that the single cause of their involvement in crime is their heavy [drug] use.

For many, this statement is indisputable.

Illicit Drug Addiction and Abuse

Psychoactive, also called psychotropic , is a term that is applied to chemical substances that change a person's mental state by affecting the way the brain and nervous system work. This can lead to intoxication , which is often the main reason people choose to take psychoactive drugs. Alcohol and caffeine are psychoactive drugs that people most commonly use to alter their mental state. These drugs are legally available, but can still be physically and psychologically harmful if taken to excess. Usually, people decide when and how they want to use psychoactive drugs. In some situations, however, psychoactive drugs are used to alter someone's mental state in order to exploit the person.


Examples of Commercial and Street Names. DEA Schedule*/ How Administered​**. Acute Effects/Health Risks. Increased blood pressure and heart rate/chronic.


Tolerance, Dependence And Withdrawal

Research shows. You probably know that drugs affect feelings and moods, judgment, decision making, learning, and memory. Some of these effects occur when drugs are used at high doses or after prolonged use, and some may occur after just one use.

If drugs cause physical changes in the body, the words addict, addictive, addicted and addiction are used. The common addictive drugs are: alcohol, morphine, heroin, cocaine and barbiturates. Drugs create a state of mind in some individuals which is termed psychic dependence. Drugs that depress the nervous system: alcohol, barbiturates sleeping pills, downers , minor tranquillizers valium and librium , solvents and gases as in glues, lighter fuel, aerosols, cleaning fluids ;.

This study uses a functional perspective to examine the reasons young people cite for using psychoactive substances. The study sample comprised young poly-drug users recruited using snowball-sampling methods. Data on lifetime and recent frequency and intensity of use for alcohol, cannabis, amphetamines, ecstasy, LSD and cocaine are presented. A majority of the participants had used at least one of these six drugs to fulfil 11 of 18 measured substance use functions.

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Drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a disease that affects a person's brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication. Substances such as alcohol, marijuana and nicotine also are considered drugs. When you're addicted, you may continue using the drug despite the harm it causes. Drug addiction can start with experimental use of a recreational drug in social situations, and, for some people, the drug use becomes more frequent. For others, particularly with opioids, drug addiction begins with exposure to prescribed medications, or receiving medications from a friend or relative who has been prescribed the medication. The risk of addiction and how fast you become addicted varies by drug.

The Different Types of Psychoactive Drugs

Substance abuse , also known as drug abuse , is use of a drug in amounts or by methods which are harmful to the individual or others.

2 comments

  • Marc A. 14.11.2020 at 17:50

    All illegal drugs have immediate physical effects, which you can read about in this brochure. But drugs can also severely hin- der psychological and emotional.

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