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Drug Use And Abuse In The United States Today (Essay Sample)


Prompt: Write an expository essay explaining key issues surrounding drug use and abuse in the U.S.  You are to choose your own focus, whether causes, consequences, recommended action(s) or a combination thereof. You should not reiterate obvious facts, such as the high prevalence of drugs or overdoses in the U.S. This essay is a presentation of your original analysis. Some possible topics you might consider are the following:

  • Which substances are considered or classified as “drugs” in the U.S. and why is this important?
  • What is the difference between drug use, drug abuse and drug addiction?
  • What are some non-drug addictions and what do they have in common with drug addiction?
  • What factors contribute to overdoses in the U.S. and what can be done to decrease them?
  • What are the best arguments for drug legalization?
  • What are the best arguments for strict drug enforcement?
  • Is there an increasing pharmacological dependence in the U.S.?
  • Is taking drugs the same as self-medicating for an ailment?
  • What sociological factors are involved in drug use, addiction and overdoses?


  • 1,200 words in length (show wordcount).
  • You must discuss and cite at least four (4) different sources from our reading list* (including Pew Research). You may also use personal observations as support evidence, as well.

 You must complete “My Checklist” and attach it to each of your drafts.

 MLA Format (See syllabus and gauchospace). Turned in inside a folder. Upper left margin: Your name/Course number and Section/Date/Draft number. Pages numbered. Double-spaced and normal margins.

  • Digital file uploaded to gauchospace by same deadline
  • CLAS tutoring appointment slips turned in with this paper (3 total CLAS visits this quarter)

Instructors Name
Course number and Section
Draft number
Drug Use and Abuse in the U.S. Today
Studies have shown that the scourge of drug use and drug abuse in the U.S. is not only worsening, but it is affecting all individuals irrespective of race, income status, residence, and other demographic attributes of people. According to an article published by the Stanford Neurosciences Institute, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has continually published evidence pertaining to the dangers of drug abuse, but despite these warnings, the tragedies of drug abuse are increasing at an alarming rate ( Furthermore, although most people are aware of the dangers of alcoholism, tobacco smoking, and other “street drug” addictions, some individuals are unaware of the addictions associated with prescribed drugs, such as opioid painkillers. This paper critically analyses key issues surrounding drug use and abuse in the U.S. and suggest that to control the problem of addiction, drug use should be legalized.
Addiction is a problem that is common in the United States which in part results from criminalizing the drugs that end up being abused among curious young people. Addictions can be analysed from numerous angles, particularly with the current rise of diverse forms of drug dependence, including illegal drugs as well as pharmacy-prescribed drugs. To start with, physical dependence is where people desperately rely on the biochemical components of these substances, leading to physical changes that are difficult to resist. Drug abuse usually results in withdrawal effects where an individual experiences unpleasant symptoms when he cannot access the drug (Mann). For instance, some of the withdrawal symptoms associated with heroin include agitation, anxiety, nausea, depression, severe bone and muscle aches, cold sweats. Studies have shown that most people who abuse drugs and become addicts usually consume the drugs to specifically relieve the unpleasant symptoms instead of attaining the pleasure.
Evidence indicates that some of the most commonly abused drugs are those that have been illegalized by the government. However, current studies show that prescription drugs are increasingly worsening the problem of drug use and abuse. For instance, Claudia Wallis says that the dangers of smoking cannabis, which include brain damage, psychosis, and addiction, have often been ignored since most people believe that these perils are usually exaggerated (Wallis). Evidence has already shown that being high tends to negatively affect memory, attention, and learning. Furthermore, the current stronger varieties of illegal drugs are prepared by mixing with potent additives which may cause brain damage, physical illness, and making people delusional. Research studies have already shown that people who do not use drugs usually beat drug abusers in terms of attention, motor skills, memory, verbal and physical abilities.
While some drug users get hooked, most people tend to control their usage of these drugs and legalizing them would be the right strategy to deal with addictions. Experts have attempted to investigate and determine the reasons why people are increasingly becoming addicted to a wide range of drug. Evidence indicates that it is challenging to determine the development of drug addiction since some people tend to control their usage of both legal and illegal drugs while others get hooked. Mike Robinson says that certain individuals constantly seek pleasure, but just like in the case of stimulants like cocaine or opioids such as heroin, the pressure that is derived tend to reduce after repeated use (Robinson). Certain addictive drugs such as nicotine do not have the capacity of producing significant euphoria among reg...

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