Past And Current Drug Trends Essay

962 words - 4 pages

Past and Current Drug Trends
Many past and current trends of the use and abuse of drugs in the United States have been associated with health and social trends that at times may have been considered culturally acceptable. Many trends have occurred since early times. The nineteenth century introduced advancement in modern medicines making several medicinal drugs popular, but by the end of the century was being considered a complicated matter. The twentieth century showed great concern amongst the American people for substance abuse and trends of usage and abuse changed as quickly as the decades past by. The drug usage and abuse now is very regulated and campaigned against misuse of ...view middle of the document...

Morphine became more readily available with the invention of the syringe. Cocaine was widely used as a stimulant and antidepressant. Anesthetic drugs had developed for specific ailments and diseases such as the vaccines for small pox and rabies. With all this new development of drugs, the uncontrolled access to the psychoactive drugs caused many societal problems. By the end of the nineteenth century major concerns arose and reformation of how some drugs were distributed and sold was called upon. Cocaine was widely used and had been noticed to be very addictive. Opium was also used openly but the respectable way of taking was by drinking it, Chinese immigrants were used to smoking it (Levinthal, 2012). Soon smoking opium became illegal, but some say smoking opium was not banned because of drug related reasons but because of cultural reasons.
At the turn of the twentieth century it became evident of how much of a problem unrestricted access to psychoactive drugs such as heroin, morphine, cocaine, and marijuana became. Eventually laws were passed to restrict access to these drugs. Alcohol also became under fire and was the manufacture and sale of alcohol became illegal although consuming alcohol was not illegal, during this time was named the Prohibition Era. The Prohibition Era had become more problematic than anticipated and organized crime and bootlegging became rampant. The Prohibition Era ended in 1933 (Prohibition, 2011). Years following the World War II the development of antibiotics came about and help cure many diseases. Also the development of drugs to treat mental disorders occurred. Smoking cigarettes became a very popular past time as it was viewed to be cool and sexy. Drugs such as cocaine, heroine, and marijuana were looked upon negatively by the 1950’s and were considered to be low class, non white and illegal activity. By the 1970’s, the hippie age began, rebellious young...

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