At the dawn of the modern era the cross-cultural exchange of goods, including psychoactive substances, accelerated as Europeans ventured across the oceans. This indicates travel has increased the spread of drug abuse throughout the globe where there was a scope of cross cultural exchange of habits. However, there is a small number of researches in this area, which indicates further research (Segev et al., 2005). The advent of non-narcotic addicting drugs loomed as a potential problem. Responding to incentives created in part by implementation of the control regime and wartime shortages, several pharmaceutical firms successfully developed narcotic analgesics without recourse to opium. Demerol and methadone, two coal-tar-based morphine substitutes produced by German firms during the war, figured among the most successful creations (Edwards, 1980). As the 1950s drew to a close, a new problem came to light. Synthetically produced, non-narcotic substances such as barbiturates, tranquilizers, amphetamines, and certain hallucinogens entered into therapeutic use with increasing frequency (Austin, 1978). In less than a decade, the problem of drug abuse reached crisis proportions. Unprepared for the onslaught, the control regime would be shaken to its core by the events of the 1960s. During the 1960s, driven by skyrocketing demand, illicit use of old and new substances flourished. Many rejected the ethos that informed the system, restricting access to drugs appeared as simply another manifestation of bankrupt establishment values. By the early 1970s, most observers, experts, and policymakers no longer supported an exclusive emphasis on...
Illicit substances or drugs are defined as substances which have actual or relative potential for abuse, scientific evidence of pharmacological effect, risks to the public health through psychic or physiological dependence liability (Manchikanti et al., 2004).
Several illicit drugs have been identified to have considerable abuse potential. These are heroin, cocaine, marijuana, LSD, phencyclidine, fentanyl and other drugs, alcohol, and smoking (Sutherland and Shepherd, 2002).
Recognition of the problems of children of people who abuse alcohol and other drugs has increased in recent decades. The estimates of at-risk children born to drug-using women are likely to be low because those who do not seek prenatal care, those who do not give birth in hospitals, and those who continue drug use during pregnancy are not included in the count (Cuskey and Wathey, 1982).
“Although there continue to be many questions regarding the extent and nature of the deleterious effects of in utero cocaine exposure, researchers generally agree that cocaine use during pregnancy results in an increase in the rate of premature births. Investigators also have demonstrated that, following birth, infants who have had exposure to cocaine stay in the hospital longer and their increased rate of prematurity is a major factor contributing to these costly hospital stays. Some patients may cease drug use during pregnancy and then resume subsequent to the birth. There is also a sizeable group of drug-using women who are not reported by their physicians.