Drugs and Substance Abuse as a Worldwide Problem


Drug and substance abuse is not only a problem in the United States but also a worldwide problem. The availability of illicit drugs is becoming more and easier to people most of them adolescents. Illegal trade in drugs is booming worldwide and the same people who should be curtailing it are even practicing it.

Despite increased global efforts by both state and non-state actors to stop the trade and consumption of illicit drugs, the entire opposite is happening: more and more people bare becoming dependent on drugs as well as a global increase in the production and trade in these same drugs.


Every day that passes the United States is using more and more taxpayer’s money on the war on drugs. Yet surprisingly the number of people incarcerated in federal and state prisons from drug related offences keeps on increasing.

At the commencement of the 20th century, there was “virtually no restriction on opiates, cocaine, or marijuana” (Carpenter, 2003).

The debate on whether to stop the war on drugs or not is not an issue that can just be answered

Drugs and Substance Abuse as a Worldwide Problem

with a yes or no answer. Although the war on drugs is costing the American tax-payer billions each year, and given the fact that this war on drugs has failed to achieve the ultimate objective s of ending drug consumption, drug trade and drug related crime, we can not advocate for its abolishment. This is especially because the drugs will be made available to small school going children and we will only succeed in creating a generation that is drug-dependent.

Consequently, this war has raised issues on our legal rights, family ideals, and on public health. Amid such a gigantic penalty to compensate, its sensation in accomplishing its goal has not been met.

Many of the harms in the drug war are as a result of the drug war itself. The ever-evident Drug-related offences are as a result of drug prohibition laws within the supply and demand chains. Public health concerns like HIV and Hepatitis C are constrained or affected by laws that restrict direct access to hygienic needles. Instead of the drug war being a promoter of family values, “children of inmates are at risk of educational failure, joblessness, addiction, and delinquency” (Carpenter, 2003).

According to the article ‘The Real War on Crime’, (‘Report of the National Criminal Justice Commission’, 1996.) very many vices have been observed that arise from the war on drugs, among them include.

• Erosion of the American citizen’s human rights and civil liberties.

• it has Cost the economy billions of dollars with no visible or tangible effect.

• the war on crime has Criminalized millions of American citizens on drug issues yet these same people are not usually disposed to crime.

Drugs and Substance Abuse as a Worldwide Problem

• the system has Placed almost a third of African-American males between the ages of 19 and 29 behind bars on drug related matters that will ultimately mess their lives forever.

• it has led to a Corrupted police force and a similar legal system

• it has led to the spread of HIV-AIDS by its rejection of necessary needle exchange programs.

• the war on drugs has led to the emergence of street violence up to a point that many people have lost their lives and thousands others seriously wounded yet some of these people are very innocent.

• it has led to the congestion in jails/prisons up to the point where it is causing states to become bankrupt.

• it has led to the Destabilization of Latin American countries with what is commonly referred to as Narco dollars.

• it has also Made the united states a mockery world wide, since it has the highest incarceration worldwide.

A report by the ‘U.S. Center on Substance Abuse Prevention’ stated “alternatives programming appears to be most effective among those youth at greatest risk for substance abuse and related problems.” (Maria Carmona and Kathryn Stewart, 1996, pp. 3, 20On the positive side :

Legalization of illegal drugs would mean that the government would adapt policies like those

Drugs and Substance Abuse as a Worldwide Problem

that currently exist for legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol. By doing this, much violence associated with the supply and consumption of illicit drugs. Since the sale and distribution of these drugs would be legal, the use of gang totting gangsters to distribute and supply of drugs would come to an end.

Given the fact that around 30 percent of convicts in state and federal prisons were convicted on drug related charges, then the legalization of these drugs would lead to a massive decline in state and federal expenditure on institutions of corrections.

In addition, the court system or the criminal justice system would feel a relief as much of its burden that even threatens their lives would be overhauled.

Similarly, the legalization of these drugs would mean that the state would be observing civil liberties of humankind; in addition, this legalization would help to bring down the extent of international terrorism since a major factor that influences international terrorism is usually drug-related. This would also mean that since a major source of revenue for international terrorism arises from the trade in drugs, liberalization of this trade would mean that their revenues would decrease.

On an international scale, bilateral trade relations between the united states and many other countries especially in Latin America would improve since in many cases these trade pacts are usually hampered by accusations of drug trafficking or smuggling.


Drugs and Substance Abuse as a Worldwide Problem

The war on drugs seems to be headed in the wrong way and in addition, it has more costs than benefits. regardless of this fact, it might not be in the public interest to end it thus, it would be very expensive to stop the war on drugs. If this were to happen there would result massive losses of lives and property as long as the emergence of a legal crime structure. In addition to this public health, expenses would rise sharply due to increased use of drugs. In the same way, a majority of the work force would be drug-dependent and thus the national output would decrease sharply.

On top of this there would emerge unwarranted civil wars especially in Latin America where major warlords especially in Colombia would be trying to overthrow the governments in order to be able to supply drugs to American citizens with the drugs more cheaply.


Carpenter, T. 2003. Bad Neighbor Policy: Washington’s Futile War on Drugs in Latin America.

Retrieved September 22, 2005, from: http://www.theglobalist.com . Cited from www.AnaiRhoa ds.org

Callahan, G. Patrick. Prisoner of the drug War in America: A Call to End The War On Drugs. available at http://www.november.org

Report of the National Criminal Justice Commission. 1996. Harper Perennial Press.

Michelle Calderon. Should We End the War on Drugs? Available at: www.AnaiRhoads.org

Drugs and Substance Abuse as a Worldwide Problem