Essay about Past and Current Trends

1205 Words Nov 2nd, 2006 5 Pages
Past and Current Trends
Drugs and alcohol have played a role in American society for many years. There is, however, a wider variety of drugs available today than ever before and with this wider variety there comes a wider range of addictive qualities and health related risks that individuals who take these drugs are subjected. Habit forming drugs were introduced into American society as far back as the 1700's. These drugs were widely used for "medicinal" purposes without any knowledge of their addictive properties and the health risks involved with taking them. One such drug, Laudanum, a drug containing opium, was widely available in the 1700's and in the 1800's there were many products readily available that contained ingredients such as
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Thus society has unwittingly supported an increase in drug use not only among teenagers, but adults as well.
Another trend that is currently on the rise is prescription drug abuse. According to Kenneth D. Tunnell in his article The Oxycontin Epidemic And Crime Panic In Rural Kentucky, "The prescription drug abuse problem has steadily increased during the past three decades. Drug use continues to be the number one concern in Kentucky law enforcement"
Tunnell goes on to say, "OxyContin abuse is a highly localized problem requiring specific interpretations. Probable explanations for OxyContin abuse within rural eastern Kentucky include: prescription drug use is a culturally entrenched phenomenon; Kentucky leads the nation in prescription drug use, in part because the state has the fourth highest cancer rate in the nation; Kentucky has an above-average older population that uses prescription drugs; Kentucky's higher levels of chronic 245 illnesses and debilitating diseases contribute to increasing numbers of pharmaceutical prescriptions and addictions; prescription fraud largely has been ignored by medical, academic, and legal communities; OxyContin is a very powerful drug whose design makes it easy to abuse; and Purdue Pharma aggressively promoted OxyContin."
According to the article Projecting And Monitoring The Life Course

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