Challenges and Solutions to the Problem

In attempt to find answer and to provide solutions to the current prevailing problem of the society with regard to illicit drug use/abuse, the law and policymakers created a report which implements a plan to control and cease the prevalence of illicit drug users. Moreover, the National Drug Control Strategy (NDCS) or Office of the National Drug Control Policy created this ten (10)-year proposal plan to fight against the proliferation of illegal/illicit drugs. Preceded by the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997 (new implemented law), the NDCS’ proposal plan serves as a revision to the former National Narcotics Leadership Act of 1988.

Further, the ten (10)-year proposal plan defines and exemplifies what the government agencies should do in dealing with the cessation of proliferating illicit drug use (citation). The aforementioned implemented report has the following five (5) central objectives: According to the law and policymakers, the report’s aim is to 1) provide and disseminate information among the US citizens, especially the children, regarding the disadvantages of using/abusing the illegal drugs namely marijuana, tobacco, alcohol etc. ;

2) to guarantee and ensure the safety and security of the U. S. citizens by fighting against anything (crime, violence, drug trafficking, etc. ) that would hinder peace and order among the citizens of the United States; 3) to ensure the U. S. citizens that they receive adequate benefits and lesser costs when it comes to availing their rights to medical care and welfare; 4) to protect the United States of America territories against drug trafficking and other threats; and lastly, 5) to destroy any local or foreign connections and supplies where and which paves the way to market the illicit drugs inside the country (citation).

In this ten (10)-year proposal report, 12 programs were given an emphasis to underscore their objective of fighting against proliferation of illicit drugs and these are the following: 1) the Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign; 2) School Drug Prevention Coordinators; 3) Drug Treatment; 4) Drug Research; 5) Youth Tobacco Initiative; 6) Criminal Justice System; 7) Methamphetamine Initiative; 8) Southwest Border—Border Patrol; 9) Ports-of-Entry—U. S. Customs Service; 10) Interdiction—U. S.

Coast Guard; 11) Interdiction Support—Defense; and the 12) International Country Support (citation). Amidst the war against proliferation of prohibited drugs, or marijuana in particular, seven of these programs were policies/strategic procedures devised and created to directly work on ceasing the illicit drug use/abuse. Further, these seven programs received sufficient support (financial, and the like) as compared to the rest of the five programs left for the five (5) programs were more on just indirect approach to fight and prevent the illicit drug use itself.

Therefore, the first described strategic programs, which were reported in detail and uses direct approach to provide a solution was mostly reinforced by law and policymakers than the latter, which is just an indirect approach and just provides prevention of the proliferating and prevalent illicit drug use (citation). Meanwhile, the prevention and cessation of illicit drug use poses a significant role for Community Psychology. Further, several agencies like the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention and Centers for Substance Abuse Treatment provided rehab programs and treatment for illicit drug users which emerged during 1980 to 1990.

In fact, some of the agencies’ projects and programs are still currently functioning and serving its purpose of public service and welfare. Among the published related studies in the American Journal of Community Psychology and Journal of Community Psychology, it was generalized that scarcity of information and related studies available in discussing what are the useful and effective strategic procedures in ceasing the illegal drug use and preventing its consequences.

Moreover, this is a call for more participation of the field of community Psychology in community-based approach of providing information among citizens (citation). Community Psychology plays a very pivotal role in contributing to fighting against the proliferation of illicit drugs. In fact, in one experimental study of Latkin et. al. (1996), it was found that the concepts of social norms are used in groups to persuade intravenous drug users to participate in two groups of the experiment (experimental and control).

The experimental group termed as “index” was tasked to persuade their friends and acquaintances who are intravenous drug users to participate in the study. For duration of eighteen (18) months, both groups in the experiment have undergone series of HIV tests and were given lecture regarding the sexually transmitted diseases and its risk factors. Findings show that there were lesser instances of sharing of needles and intake of the intravenous drug heroin and cocaine through injection for the experimental group (citation). [Marijuana: The Teen Illicit Drug Of Choice]

There is a promising future of ceasing and preventing the proliferation of illicit drug use, specifically, marijuana use (since the illicit drug could be available almost anywhere). Evidently, reports showed that there was a decrease in the prevalence rates of illicit drug users across the years. But it is to put into account that although there has been decline in the number of illicit drug users, a huge percentage of children especially the homeless ones are reported to comprise such illicit drug users as listed in 1900 surveys.

This is mainly because these under-aged homeless or children with home (particularly those who are attending elementary education in school) could easily avail and have access in marijuana. In fact, a survey was reported in 2007 that 10. 7 M among the elementary students in the range of ninth (9th) and twelfth (12th) graders were users of marijuana, while for the students in senior high, 204,000 of them were reported to be habitual users of the illicit drug, marijuana (citation). [Trends in Teen Marijuana Use]

Indeed marijuana has been the number 1 mostly used illicit drug by the citizens in U. S. However the illicit drug users among the child bracket in the United States have a fluctuating response in illicit drug use. It was reported that the when the high school students reach their senior, 41. 8 % of them were listed to have used marijuana. The prevalence rate of illicit drug users among the children/youth reached its peak during the year 1980. Moreover, the illicit drug use declined during the 1900s. Fluctuation of rates among illicit drug users continues and in 1991, a percentage of 31.3 % among elementary students of ninth (9th) and twelfth (12th) graders.

In 1999, the elementary students taking the drug increased with a total of 47. 2 % and then the prevalence rate decreased again. In year 2007, it was then reported that a percentage of 38. 1 % totaling into 10. 7 M are illicit drug users of marijuana specifically. Thus, the prevalence rate of marijuana drug users is still 21. 7 % high as compared to statistics noted in year 1990-1991 (citation). [Teens Have Easy Access to Marijuana]

The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), reported that the American children ad adolescents, regardless if they are homeless or not, are able to have easy access and obtain the illicit drug, marijuana. Further a percentage of 37 % (total of 9. 6 M children/adolescents) among children/adolescents aged 12 to 17 years reported their easy access and purchase on the illicit drug, marijuana. On the other hand, a percentage of 17 %, or 4. 4 M of children/adolescents aged 12 to 17 years claimed that they can obtain/purchase marijuana in less than an hour (citation).

Children and adolescents who have observed the illicit drug use of marijuana and other illicit drugs in school have the likelihood to engage in the same activity for it becomes a trend to their peers. Moreover, these children/adolescents are more likely to engage in buying and using marijuana and other prohibited drugs in less than one day than the out of school youth. With a percentage of 57 %, the children/adolescents would respond into buying and using marijuana whereas for the out school youth, only 14 % are expected to engage in the same behavior of illicit drug use/abuse (citation).

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