Civic Activism Paper
“Profits [from illicit drugs] accrue to a wide range of actors, from poor rural farmers to affluent urban dealers. But, in many instances, the single most profitable sector of the market is the process of transporting the drugs internationally. The funds raised by trafficking groups can be used to underwrite other criminal activity and even political insurgency.”— World Drug Report 2007, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (p.170) What is drug trafficking? Drug trafficking is the production, distribution and sale of illegal drugs, such as cocaine, heroin and marijuana. There are different penalties for drug trafficking in all places, but in most places, the penalties are intended to be severe enough to discourage individuals from engaging in selling drugs. While laws vary according to jurisdiction, individuals charged with drug possession usually face big penalties, huge fines and time in prison. Drug trafficking is a major source of crime worldwide. Globally, drug trafficking is a multibillion dollar industry. As a profitable industry, illegal drug sales also fund the purchase of illegal weapons which are used to fund organized crime and civil wars in developing countries. Even with stringent law enforcement efforts and penalties, authorities worldwide engage in a constant struggle to stop the illicit drug trade. Drug trafficking is the most serious organized crime problem in the world today. The drug trade generates billions of dollars for organized crime each year, but drug trafficking is only part of a bigger problem which also includes the use of drugs. It is drug dealers and users on a local level who finance organized crime through their drug purchases, and it is they who must accept responsibility for the broad range of costs associated with the drug industry. Drug abuse ruins individual lives, drains billions of dollars each year from American society, and quickly kills the nation's quality of life. The impact of organized crime and drug trafficking on society thus has far-ranging consequences for the individual drug user, such as legal, health, social and financial consequences. Drug abuse can majorly affect every necessary system in the human body. Everyone thinks that they will ever become addicted to drugs when they start using them but addiction can and often does happen. Addiction is a compulsive need for and use of habit-forming substances such as drugs. Someone who is addicted loses control and judgment and when use of the drug is stopped, may suffer severe psychological or physical symptoms, such as anxiety, irritability, unhappiness, and stress. Withdrawal from certain drugs can also result in severe physical discomfort, such as tremors, flu-like symptoms, diarrhea, bone pain, and even seizures. Long term users of certain drugs may experience pervasive changes in brain function. There also seems to be a relationship between using some drugs and committing crimes. For example, someone who regularly uses a drug like heroin or cocaine needs a lot of money to pay for it. Sometimes people turn to committing crimes like supplying drugs to others, theft, burglary, armed robbery or prostitution to obtain money for drugs. Drugs alter the brain dramatically, so they would also change the way that humans interact with one another and it can radically impact the way we interact with people and it has a great effect on academics, family life and your peers. Drug use is also associated with several leading causes of death in the United States, including suicide, homicide, motor-vehicle injury, HIV infection, pneumonia, violence, mental illness and hepatitis. Authorities are working around the clock all over the world to prevent the use and sale of illegal drugs, as both are big dangers to society. In the United States, a special government agency exists for the sole purpose of monitoring and discouraging drug trafficking. The Drug...
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