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Substance abuse trends in the United States

Please help me examine substance abuse trends in the United States. Include the following:

- Identify past and current trends of the use and abuse of substances in the United States.

- Analyze health and social problems in the United States that occur due to drug abuse and addiction (e.g., cocaine, ecstasy, prescription drugs).

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Substance abuse has historically been regarding substances that are commonly used for various legitimate purposes. Heroin, for example, for many veterans of the Vietnam conflicts, was used by the military regularly to keep troops awake. Legitimate medications like surplus morphine post-WWII easily found another market besides troops in the States, and their hold on the addicted population remains today, albeit from different sources other than army surplus.

In recent years; however, substances synthesized by amateur chemists have increasingly permeated the illicit substance market. One only has to look towards the now infamous reports of "bath salts" to garner a sensationalized idea behind this. A prominent and increasingly popular class of stimulants has begun to seriously compete among other substances in terms of prominence in the market. These drugs namely include MDMA, otherwise known as "speed", and their derivatives. Unlike illicit drugs of the past, these are often synthesized in amateur operations with serious implications to health for both the chemists and the consumers. This trend that has been increasing for the past decade or two has statistically translated into an increase in chemical mishaps that have infamously caused a number of large explosions (who hasn't heard of a meth lab explosion) or even more commonly, side effects of impure samples of drugs, most infamously, the synthesis of MPTP. The story behind the Parkinsonian modelling drug MPTP illustrates perfectly the hazards of this trend in substance creation. Two graduate students hoping to use their vast knowledge of chemistry attempt to synthesize MDMA, but in the process create an impurity, known as ...

Solution Summary

The substance abuse trends in the United States is examined.