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Drugs and Crime

Using resources and the Internet, find the effects of three types of substances (cocaine, heroin, & marijuana). Please discuss these three effects. Then choose one and locate two articles describing situations where a crime was committed by a person under the influence of a specific substance. Find an article where you believe the substance is mostly responsible for the crime. Find another article in which the person is mostly responsible for the crime.

For example, PCP can have bizarre effects on users. PCP users may demonstrate remarkable strength and may exhibit anxiety, paranoia, and violent behavior.

Solution Preview

Please see response attached, which is also presented below. I hope this helps and take care.

Let's take a closer look at the effects and several articles for you to consider for this assignment.

1. Cocaine and its effects

The street names/slang for Cocaine are: Big C, Blow, Coke, Flake, Freebase, Lady, Nose Candy, Rock, Snow, Snowbirds, White Crack.

Cocaine is a drug extracted from the leaves of the coca plant. It is a potent brain stimulant and one of the most powerfully addictive drugs.

What are its short-term effects?

Short-term effects of cocaine include constricted peripheral blood vessels, dilated pupils, increased temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, insomnia, and loss of appetite, feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety. Duration of cocaine's immediate euphoric effects, which include energy, reduced fatigue, and mental clarity, depends on how it is used. The faster the absorption, the more intense the high. However, the faster the absorption, the shorter the high lasts. The high from snorting may last 15 to 30 minutes, while that from smoking may last 5 to 10 minutes. Cocaine's effects are short lived, and once the drug leaves the brain, the user experiences a "coke crash" that includes depression, irritability, and fatigue.

What are its long-term effects?

High doses of cocaine and/or prolonged use can trigger paranoia. Smoking crack cocaine can produce a particularly aggressive paranoid behavior in users. When addicted individuals stop using cocaine, they often become depressed. Prolonged cocaine snorting can result in ulceration of the mucous membrane of the nose. http://www.drugfree.org/Portal/drug_guide/Cocaine

Article 1: Person is mostly responsible for the crime

Tim Allan charged with over a pound of cocaine and was sentenced to 5 years in jail and received parole after 2 ½ years. This is the person's fault, (See full article at http://www.nndb.com/people/279/000025204/).

Another article, the author argues that systemic violence has been found in analyses of powder cocaine markets, which is the person(s) fault. For example, as Inciardi reports, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Miami's cocaine distribution network experienced vast systemic crime. Prior to this period, Colombians had shipped powder cocaine to Miami, where middlemen distributed it locally or transhipped it elsewhere. In the late 1970s, the Colombian drug kingpins moved to control the market without the middlemen and to take over cocaine distribution in South Florida. According to the study, this led to vastly increased systemic violence as territory was carved out among distributors. The murder rate rose to an all-time high of 621 murders (or 58.8 murders per 100,000 people) in 1981. After the market stabilized and the Colombians gained control, the murder rate dropped by a third, down to a low of 33.2 murders per 100,000 people in 1987. As crack distribution increased, however, the murder rate rose again after 1987 to 42.5 murders per 100,000 in 1988 and 40.5 in 1989. (see full article available on-line at http://www.wethepeople.la/crime.htm)

Article 2: Heroine's is mostly responsible for the crime
Criminal activity and crack addiction
by
Miller NS, Gold MS
Department of Psychiatry,
University of Illinois at Chicago,
College of Medicine.
Int J Addict 1994 Jun; 29(8):1069-78

The author argues that once addicted, the cocaine and crack take over a person's life and crime becomes a means of getting their fix. The association of crack and criminal activity is commonly believed but not well documented or characterized in any systematic studies of crack addicts. In this survey of 200 crack addicts, daily use of crack correlated ...

Solution Summary

This solution identifies the effects of three types of substances (cocaine, heroin, & marijuana), as well as two articles describing situations where a crime was committed by a person under the influence of a specific substance. It also provides two other articles, one where the substance is mostly responsible for the crime and the other in which the person is mostly responsible for the crime.

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