The Question Of Prohibition Of Different Types Of Addictive Substances

A drug is a natural synthetic or chemical substance that affects the way the human body works and functions when the substance is taking into the human body. When describing a drug, it must be able to pass within your body to your brain. Once it has reached the brain many types of drugs will change the chemistry of the brain which will affect the rest of the body. When a drug is taken into the body that is being used in a treatment plan, diagnosis, disease prevention, or for relief of pain it is called a legal drug or medication. These types of drugs also can be dangerous and harmful if the person using the drug becomes addictive or misuses it. Drugs known to be a habit-forming stimulant or a narcotic base substance include nicotine, cannabis for marijuana, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, are just a few. These types of drugs when taking into the human body produces a state of arousal or contentment and usually lead to substance abuse or drug abuse.

According to Dr. Elisa Guerra-Doce since the time that drug plants were found, and fermented drinks were consumed by individuals there has been evidence that such activities have been done over centuries and what began in prehistoric times has continued to be done in our present-day lives. By looking at the remains of ancient fossils of psychoactive plants it has shown to contain residue of alcohol and other psychoactive chemicals. Also, the drawings of prehistoric times give details of how drugs were used during those times. For instance, alcohol consumption dates back to 7000-6600 BC when residue was found in pottery shards in China which had been made of rice, fermented grapes, honey, and other different types of fruit. Hallucinogens were found in fossils in Peru within a cave that dated back between 8600 – 5600 BC. Opium was found in fossils that dated back to the mid-six millennium BC in Rome. Also, it was discovered that the poppyseed capsules along with traces of opiates were discovered in the skeletons of human remains dating back to the fourth millennium. It was also discovered that the prehistoric art contained pictures of the poppy being consumed in religious ceremonies. About 8000 years ago in South America evidence is been found that humans chewed the coca plant in Peru in the remains of human teeth and mummified hair. Last but not least tobacco dates back to about 2000 BC which was found in Argentina in smoking pipes. Also, nicotine remanence has been found and pops dating back to 300 BC. The extensive nature that humans have consumed psychoactive substances in past the cultural diversities has shown that the substances were not viewed as drugs but considered as food. In most instances, the use of these psychoactive substances in ancient times were for medicine or religious ceremonies. It is been well documented that humans have been consuming the diverse types of psychoactive drugs for millennia.

The effects that alcohol has on an individual's behavior, their brain, along with their health different from person-to-person. Some individuals can limit their drinking where others find it hard to control their consumption of alcohol. The consumption of alcohol will cause individual temporary complications within their brain such as memory loss and the loss of coordination. In many cases, the long-term use of alcohol will lead to side effects that usually are irreversible. The prolonged use of alcohol will usually interfere with how a person's brain functions and is sculptured. It will cause damage to different regions of the brain especially the cerebellum. Also, the limbic system and cerebral cortex are affected by the consumption of alcohol which impacts the bodies communication pathways. As alcohol affects the cerebellum part of a person’s brain will likely have issues with their balance along with emotional and memory issues. If an individual becomes a chronic alcoholic this can cause their brain size to diminish, have a loss of memory, and will lose the ability to think rationally.

The effects that alcohol consumption has on a person’s health can cause a lot of damage. The heart is extremely vulnerable to the effects of a person consuming alcohol. Over a prolonged use of heavy drinking will tweaking an individual’s heart which will have an impact on how oxygen and nutrients are carried out through to other vital organs within their body. Heavy drinking also will have potentially life-threatening problems with the liver. This is because when you drink alcohol the liver will break down the alcohol and remove it from the blood. Heavy use of alcohol will overwhelm the liver which will lead to fatty liver. This is a condition which involves the buildup of bad fats in the liver. This will usually lead to liver failure or diabetes. The pancreas is also affected in the usage of alcohol in excessive amounts. Over the years drinking heavily will cause the blood vessels which surround the pancreas to swell leading to pancreatitis. This can lead to a person getting pancreatic cancer which is a type of cancer that spreads through the body very rapidly.

When it comes to a person's behavior alcohol influences this in many ways. The main behavior that is affected in a person is the changes that it has on an individual's reaction to the environment that surrounds them. Alcohol will also limit a person's ability to process information and will affect the impulsive behavior which usually results in bad decision-making when the individual is intoxicated. For some individuals, alcohol will make them aggressive and angry towards other individuals. Consuming alcohol will also make an individual make false promises or comments to two other individuals because they are focused on what they desire rather than the work that is necessary to obtain that goal. Even though many of these are temporary effects that alcohol will have on a person's behavior, in the end, they will all ways come back to reality.

The circumstances that I believe were a drug should be limited or banned is when it is used for other purposes of what it is made for therefore should be harder to obtain. I also believe that the major drugs such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, and any other hard type drugs should be banned because they affect not only the individual that is consuming them but other individuals as well. These types of drugs are very dangerous and can kill a person at a drop of a hat. Other drugs that are used in the medical field should be limited therefore harder for an individual to get. For example, oxycodone has become one of the leading opiate epidemics in our country along with other medications such as Percocet's, Xanax, and other medications used to treat pain and anxiety along with depression. In many occasions, individuals are obtaining these drugs either from doctors that were prescribed into them or off the street for recreational use. Limiting these types of drugs to the public can be done if the individual can show the need that is necessary for them to have them. I believe doctors should limit these prescriptions that they write along with the amount of medication that they prescribe. When it comes to young adults in our society, they use these types of drugs to get high rather than what is designed for. Most of the prescription drugs that are designed for medical purposes are also very addictive but as long as they can be controlled and monitored by a proper physician then it is possible for that drug not to become an issue for an individual.

At this moment I do not think alcohol should be banned within the United States. It has been proven that the attempt of the United States to ban alcohol and making it illegal to manufacture, sale, or transport alcohol during prohibition times did not turn out too well. In 1917 laws were passed that prohibited the manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcohol however, this law did not ban the possession or consumption of alcohol. Most of the population in the United States were tolerant of the prohibition for a short time. Eventually, criminal groups arose seeing a business opportunity that they cannot pass up in bootlegging. This in return causes many law-abiding Americans to suddenly be engaged in criminal activities. This also caused a decline in the entertainment and amusement industries within the United States. Due to prohibition, this cost the United States approximately 11 billion dollars in lost tax revenue while costing approximately 300 million to enforce prohibition. So, for me, I do not think alcohol should be banned because it didn't work the first time and we all should learn from the experience that prohibition had within our country. As for nicotine, I do believe this should be banned within the United States. This is because the nicotine that is in tobacco and other substances can cause cancer, heart disease, and strokes. Smoking not only harms the individual that is partaking in smoking, but it also harms those individuals that are around them while they are smoking. I believe individuals should only be exposed to harm only if they understand and choose to accept the risk that is involved. Also, banning smoking would decrease the health care cost of individuals that do smoke. It would also encourage those who smoke to partake in the activity list or give it up altogether. This would allow overtime for the levels of nicotine that is in an individual's body to lessen therefore not filling the need to have the nicotine all the time.


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  6. Proctor, R. N. (2013, May 1). Why ban the sale of cigarettes? The case for abolition. Retrieved from
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14 May 2021
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