The idea of illegal drug use is in itself biased. As an example, white cocaine which is traditionally associated with white collar workers carries far less penalties than crack cocaine which is a typical drug for those from disadvantaged neighborhoods. A utopian society would accept that escapism through drug use is going to happen and utilize the law to create controls for the use and the industry surrounding the use while putting all of the money put into aggressive law enforcement into both education and treatment in a supportive and less combative environment. Unfortunately, the United States is far from utopian and the political points that are made about drug use are by people who are not aware of the truth about the problems of drug abuse and instead stick to propaganda rather than a direct plan of intervention to decrease the number of users and reintegrate them into mainstream society. Drug Users and Stereotypes There are ways in which society views drug user and those incarcerated for drug use and the people who actually are users and may experience jail for the abuse they do to their bodies. Moore and Elkovich (2008) discuss the issue of drug use and the discrepancies that occur between the health care sector and the judicial sector. One of the first glaring discrepancies is that drug use in middle and upper class areas is rampant, but it is largely ignored while drug use in disadvantaged areas is subject to continually and cycling arrests without the use of medical intervention as a way of addressing the subject. Profiling occurs in areas where there are minorities but in the suburbs there is no standard ‘user’ to identify so the use goes largely unnoticed. ...
The surprising statistic is that drug use among Blacks is at about 7.4% with White users being at about 7.2, a relatively insignificant difference. Latinos use drugs at a lower rate than white users at 6.4 %. White users compose about 72% of the whole population of drug users with 15% of the share being attributed to use by Black populations. Moore and Elkovich (2008) write that “Whites were nearly 5 times more likely than are Blacks to use marijuana and were 3 times more likely than Blacks to have ever used crack” (p. 783). Whites are the more common users of drugs according to these statistics. Prison On the other hand, people who are non-white make up over 60% of the population in prisons. Moore and Elkovich (2008) write that 62.6 of the offenders in prison for drug charges were Black. The rate of people placed in prison for drug use is 13 times more for Blacks than for Whites. Blacks are more likely to be arrested for being high or intoxicated than are Whites, leaving them persecuted and treated unfairly. The prison system ends up damaging families, creating rifts and gaps between adults and children as the issue of visiting becomes one that is problematic both on a pragmatic level through transportation and through a cultural level as people tend to drift away from those lost to the prison system. Fellnor et al (2003) discuss the nature of the incarcerated. Mental illness is often a consequence of being in prison as much as it is a cause of drug and alcohol abuse. Community and Dynamics In 2003 the spending on drug enforcement was 11 billion which rose to 12 billion on the federal level with the state level bloating to 30 billion for the ‘war on
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