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Essay Example: Drugs, Society and Human Behavior

4 pages
921 words
Carnegie Mellon University
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In the contemporary society, individuals engage in an extensive use of drugs, which are either legal or illegal. In the modern society, different factors have influenced drug consumption trends across various age groups. There is the need of exploring causes and adverse impacts of using hard drugs such as cocaine. (a) Describe the major causes for concern regarding cocaine use and compare them with various causes for concern regarding amphetamine use, showing evidence of your understanding of their similarities and dissimilarities.

Both cocaine and amphetamine depict some similarities regarding the nature of their respective health implications on the use. These two drugs are stimulants, whose usage lead to a euphoric feeling of ecstasy (Hart & Ksir, 2011). The onset of cocaine is faster than amphetamine: however, it does not produce a long duration of the simulation. It is revealed that amphetamine do not act promptly as compared to cocaine but its effects persist for hours or days. The use of cocaine during pregnancy is detrimental since it increases the chances of miscarriage and separation of the fetus from the placenta, which can cause premature childbirth. This is an indication that the effects of cocaine and amphetamine are interrelated.

Brain damage is another key concern regarding the use of cocaine. Consumption of the cocaine leads to the damaging of the brain structures, which paves the way for the addiction problems. Cocaine also inhibits reuptake of different chemicals in the brain, thus creating a rapid urgency for more drug whenever its effects start subsiding (Hart & Ksir, 2011). Just like it is the case with cocaine, amphetamines also distorts the brain structure which leading to addiction conditions. However, the effect of amphetamines lasts longer than cocaine. This implies that the craving for the amphetamines is not immediate. Apparently, cocaine and amphetamines provide the brain with chemicals as well as inhibiting the reuptake of the chemicals. This makes an individual depressed and lethargic after the effects of the drugs have diminished.

(b) Explain the basic rationale and theoretical foundations for the extensive use of amphetamine in the treatment of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)

Individuals (especially children) who have ADHD endure difficulties in concentrating and they are also overactive. Amphetamine is often utilized in the diagnosis of ADHD to enable patients to calm down and be focused (Kewley, 2013). It is still unknown as to why the amphetamine produces these calming effects, but its efficiency in the treatment of this disorder has been proved. Studies indicate that ADHD is related to prefrontal cortex deficits. Amphetamine is often used in the treatment of particular parts of the brain. This makes amphetamine to be suitable for the diagnosis of ADHD (Hart & Ksir, 2011). Psychological disorders are considered to be a chemical condition, highlighting the suitability of using amphetamine in the treatment of ADHD since it provides the brain with some chemicals which improve concentration and calmness in the user.

(c) Provide your personal viewpoint on major concerns about ADHD diagnoses and the efficacy of drug treatments that have led to recent controversy.

For decades, amphetamines have been used in the treatment of the ADHD in both children and adults, ultimately becoming a contentious issue regarding the accuracy of amphetamine on the diagnosis of ADHD. In different scenarios I have witnessed amphetamine used in the treatment of the people who have ADHD, it has turned out to be useful. Regardless of its popularity in treating children with ADHD, there are concerns that this practice will pave the way for the future cases of drug abuse, allegations which have been disproven in the recently conducted studies (Hart & Ksir, 2011). Another controversy surrounding the use of the amphetamine in the diagnosis of ADHD is that it causes stunted height and weight in children which can be rectified by halting the use of amphetamine for a few months.

Apart from these issues, there are no proven adverse effects of amphetamine drug in the treatment of ADHD. The recent introduction of atomoxetine (Strattera) drug, is perceived as the long-term alternative of amphetamine in the diagnosis of ADHD. Personally, I prefer atomoxetine to amphetamine since it increases catecholamines in prefrontal cortex without escalating the levels of dopamine transmission (Hart & Ksir, 2011).

(d) Present a brief but well-reasoned argument for or against the legalization of cocaine use in our society, beginning with your own definition of what constitutes "legalization." Include specific measures you would advocate.

According to my understanding, legalization in this context is decriminalization of particular drugs whose usage was previously considered illegal. Legalization of cocaine implies there will be no legal consequences in its use, trafficking or possession. Cocaine cannot be successfully legalized regardless of the efforts applied in controlling, allotting, distributing, marketing and supervising its application. Decriminalization of cocaine will only increase health issues to the users such as brain damage and addiction (Hart & Ksir, 2011). There will be a constant shortage of cocaine supply due to increased rates of addicts in the society. Legalization of cocaine will also escalate crime since addict will require continuous cash flow to acquire their favorite drug. Instead of legalizing cocaine, I will advocate for the total prohibition of cocaine as well as supporting for setting up of different rehab centers where addicts can be treated.



Adesman, A. R. (2011). The Diagnosis and Management of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Pediatric Patients. The journal of Primary Care Companion , 1-7.

Hart, C., & Ksir, C. (2011). Drugs, Society, and Human Behavior. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

Kewley, G. (2013). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Recognition, Reality and Resolution. Routledge.




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