A major problem that exists within Canadian society is the abuse of mind-altering substances.

Such narcotics cause not only health problems, but alsoviolent and potentially criminal acts. A mind-altering narcotic can be definedas both the legal and illegal type. The four main categories of drugs are:narcotics, CNS depressants, CNS stimulants, and hallucinogens.

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Most of thesedrugs are highly addictive and are usually obtained by prescription or areconsidered a banned substance and must be purchased illegally.Users of many of the “harder” drugs being abused today also face the possibilityof an eventual overdose. An overdose is the ingestion of a lethal or mind-damaging amount of drugs. Once an full addiction of these drugs occur, the userfaces withdrawal symptoms when a discontinuation of a drug transpires.

This isdue to a reduction of the natural pain-killers that exist in the body of non-drug users. These symptoms include chills, sweating, cramps, headaches,diarrhea and excessive vomiting. The treatment of drug addicts includes anextensive program of detoxification. Medical drugs, such as Naloxone, aresometimes given to patients to aid in overcoming these addictions. These drugsoccupy opiate receptors in the brain to block all effects of the damaging drugs,however the Naloxone is not an addictive drug, as the others are.

The downfallto the medical drugs being used to help addiction are that there effects arevery short-term and cannot cure the patient, but does assist in attaining thegoal of substituting a more controllable, less lethal drug as opposed to theoriginal narcotic .The key to preventing substance abuse in Canada is to educate the public,preferably at a young age, never to experiment with potentially life-threatingdrugs. This education can be attained within the pre-secondary schools. In 1988prime minister Brian Mulroney announced proposed Canada’s Drug Strategy.

Lawswere enacted, which prohibited the sale of drug paraphernalia and increased thepower of police to seize the assets of arrested drug offenders. The Strategyallocated the sum of $210 million in its first five years (and an additional$270 million in 1992) mainly to the prevention, education and treatment of druguse, while 30 per cent of this money was intended for the traditional area oflaw enforcement.The goal of education within the school system should be to support thosestudents who are non-users with recognition and social activities that willencourage them to remain non-users and to facilitate a belief and value systemthat incorporates concern for fellow students and residents of the community.Drug education should emphasise the negative aspects of drugs to give thestudent a fair understanding of the long-term effects of drug use.

Building a program for long-term survival, which describes features ofprevention programs that can increase a program’s survival chances after theinitial grant period should be considered a priority. Educators cannot be atthe student’s side at all times, especially when the student is faced withpressuring situation affecting the experimentation of drugs. Programs mustfocus one long-term education that will remain in the students mind long afterthe program has terminated.

One option for educators is to use the tool of fear.If enough fear is put into the students mind in may deter them from everwanting to experiment with the drugs; or even from becoming curious of theireffects.The clear solution to winning to “war on drugs” is to establish a clear longterm program. Such a program should include government grants, a description ofthe health risks associated with the use of alcohol and illicit drugs, standardsof conduct that clearly prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distributionof alcohol and illicit, and a description of the applicable legal sanctionsunder school, local, state, or federal law for the unlawful possession, use, ordistribution of alcohol and illicit drugs.

These examples, along with the useof fear, should provide a very effective method of deterring students from everwanting to, or becoming curious with experimentation of drugs.Works CitedFischer, B. (1994) “‘Maps and Moves'” The International Journal of Drug Policy.1995.Sternberg, Robert J.

In Search of the Human Mind. Harcourt Brace College:Publishers:Toronto. 1995.Category: Social Issues

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