Drug abuse: Tendencies and ways to overcome it
Drug abuse: Tendencies and ways to overcome it
Chapter 1. Concept, Manifestations and Tendencies of
2. The Concept and Manifestation of Drug Abuse 4-
3. Tendencies of Development
Chapter II. System and Classification of Measures to Overcome
4. System of Measures to Overcome Drug Abuse 14-
5. Classification of Measures to Overcome Drug Abuse 17-22
Chapter III. Drug Abuse in the International Law 22-38
6. International Fora and Legal Acts on Drugs
7. Tendencies in the World Community's Reaction to Drug Abuse. 34-37
Chapter IV. Measures to Suppress and Prevent Drug Abuse 37-40
Chapter V. Organized Measures to Counteract Narcotics 40-57
8. General Provisions for Counteracting Narcotics
9. Organization of Medical Counteraction to Narcotics 45-
10. Enforcement of Legal Measures of Narcotics Counteraction 50-53
11. Other Organizational Measures to Combat Narcotics 53-57
The 20th century has witnessed the spread of narcotics to the entire
world. In the past narcotics in the natural economy were confined to
territories where drug-bearing plants were grown. By the end of century
drug addiction has become a worldwide socially dangerous trend.
Narco-dealers making fabulous profits infect more and more people and
even entire social groups with drug addiction. Narcotics have long since
gone beyond the borders of traditional drug-producing areas and have
infiltrated all the countries of the world, exerting its malicious effect
on their peoples. It has affected social, economic, political and
biological aspects of life.
Statistics is constantly reporting the spread of drug addiction and the
growth in the number of drug addicts on file at medical institutions, as
well as the rise in officially recorded drug-related crimes.
Drug abuse has become a real plague of the 20th century in many
countries of the world and may become the plague of this country in
The pleasurable sensations of comfort and satisfaction that a person
experiences using narcotics is much greater than that of alcohol thus
making the repetition necessary. Consequently, dependence on drugs and the
desire to enlarge the dose or experiment with the new and more powerful
drugs increases. Gradually the desire for dope becomes so overwhelming that
it degrades the addict's individuality. The transition from experimentation
to dependence is no longer a secret for it has been studied thoroughly.
Profit seeking dealers expand the drug market at any cost by supplying
drugs to more and more addicts taking advantage of their weaknesses.
Drug sales are the closing stage in drug trafficking. Drug trade earns
huge profits that cover the costs of cultivating drug-bearing plants,
producing (or illegally acquiring from medical institutions)
transportation, sale expenses, and the bribery of officials, including
those of the law enforcement agencies. Since illegal drug trafficking is
extremely advantageous in terms of illegal profit accumulation and so
harmful and immoral it must be regarded by the entire world community as a
socially dangerous phenomenon. Some countries qualify its certain
manifestations as a heinous crime.
Throughout this century international organizations have been paying
much attention to actions against drug abuse. For example, in 1909 the
Shanghai Opium Commission approved documents to restrict drug trafficking
between countries. The international opium conference held in the Hague
between 1911 and 1912 worked out, for the first time in history, the drug
convention of 1912. The conference on opium held in Geneva between 1924 and
1925 approved, on February 11, 1925, an Agreement under which opium was
made a government monopoly. The second Geneva conference on opium passed a
convention on February 19, 1925, under which narcotics were to be produced
only for the purpose of meeting the countries' legal demand for them.
Besides this convention stipulated the extension of the list of drugs. On
July 13, 1931, an international convention limiting the production of drugs
and regulating their distribution was approved in Geneva. It came into
force in 1933. A convention of actions against the illegal trade in hard
drugs was signed in Geneva on June 26, 1936. It made international
prosecution for drug-related crimes possible and introduced punishments for
such crimes compared with the previous conventions.
In 1946, the UN Economic and Social Council passed a resolution that
provided for the international drug control and for the establishment of a
drug commission for this purpose. On November, 19 1946, the UN General
Assembly passed resolution 54/1 which endorsed a Protocol on Drugs. It was
signed at Lake Success on December 11, 1946. At the initiative of the Drug
Commission, a protocol extending the international control over drugs set
forth by the 1931 convention, was signed at the third UN General Assembly
session in Paris on November 19, 1948. A Protocol on Control over opium
poppy, consisting of the Preamble and the Final Act, was signed in New York
at the UN opium conference on June 23, 1953. The UN conference in New York
in 1961 approved a Uniform Drug Convention and in 1971 in Vienna a special
diplomatic conference passed a convention that stipulated the establishment
of a control over psychotropic preparations. The UN conference in Vienna in
1988 adopted a convention of actions against the illegal trafficking of
drugs and psychotropic substances. In keeping with the decisions of the G
Seven heads of state and governments and of the European Commission
Chairman, the 15th top-level economic summit in Paris set up a special
group in July 1989 to deal with the laundering of drug money. Upon this
group's recommendations, the International Drug Control Council called on
all the governments to approve, among other things, legislative acts
against attempts to launder money obtained from drug sales and to ensure
their effective use. The list of international antidrug conferences and
their drug-prevention documents alone, as well as the establishment of
special international bodies and organizations to carry out their
decisions, is a graphic illustration of how serious the world community's
effort to oppose drug abuse has been.
A lot of people today are drawn into the process of illegal drug
trafficking: from those engaged in cultivating drugs or producing medical
preparations containing drugs, to drug salesmen and dealers engaged in
money-laundering. At times these people form groups, which are termed,
organized criminal groups or associations by the criminal code. On the one
hand, these groups take control of drug-related crimes and draw people who
commit such crimes on their own. And on the other hand, they establish firm
organizational ties among themselves forming drug cartels in order to
monopolize drug trafficking in the vast regions of the world. This shows
that there is a continuous blending process between narcotics and organized
crime. These factors characterize the highest degree of danger that
narcotics represent. They prove the pressing need to increase worldwide
action against narcotics. This action calls for the use of all possible
means: political, legal, economic, and medical among others.
The antidrug campaign is a big drain on the material resources of the
country. It involves large spending on various programs such as preventive
Medicare, law-enforcement, legal and economic measures, and other. If this
spending is to be rational and effective, a range of measures should be
outlined with the utmost precision and professionally implemented.
All this calls for a comprehensive analysis of the existing situation
and of the possible opposition by drug dealers. As the owners of enormous
wealth, which sometimes exceeds the budgets of some countries, drug dealers
are able to influence government policies, especially in small countries.
Mainly bribing top government officials in the legislative or the executive
branches ensures this influence. As a result, criminals get a chance to
interfere in law making from the outset. The bribery of the law enforcement
officers and of the officers of the court, among others, makes it possible
to cover up drug deals, prevent exposed members of the criminal
associations involved in these deals from prosecution or substantially
curtail their prison terms.
Unlike the United States and other wealthy countries, smaller nations
are in no position to allocate sufficient sums from their budgets to carry
out effective antidrug projects. Research-based guidance may to a certain
extent make up for the lack of necessary funding. And here government-
supported antidrug programs may play an essential role.
The study of drug abuse has always been prominent in the study of law.
Many booklets, articles, serious textbooks, and monographs are devoted to
narcotics. It is as hard to cover all aspects of the problem, even in the
most profound study, as it is to establish absolute truth, especially,
since reality keeps creating new problems all the time.
The key solution lies in the need to pool international efforts in
eradicating drug addiction and narco-business. In the present-day world
with its integration processes it is impossible to do away with drug
addiction in any one country. Yet there is no way for the world community
to regard itself free from the problem even at a time when drugs will be a
peril only in one particular country. An intensive and continuous buildup
of the world community's joint effort against narcotics is a top priority
objective of the world at large.
Chapter 1. Concept, Manifestations and Tendencies of Drug Abuse
1. The Concept and Manifestation of Drug Abuse
Sociologists, lawyers and medical experts single out three basic
aspects of drug abuse: social, legal and medical.
These aspects are interconnected and interdependent and reveal the
diverse nature of drug abuse. Moreover one can also point out the
criminological, economic and ecological aspects.
To highlight the entire multiplicity of this phenomenon, it is
necessary to go beyond the widespread notion of "drug addiction" because
strictly speaking it applies only to the medical or biological aspects of
drug use being viewed exclusively as a disease without covering social,
legal and some other aspects. This is why the notion "drug abuse" rather
than "drug addiction" is used in juridical literature as a much wider term
covering social, legal and other aspects. So, drug abuse is understood as a
"social phenomenon" which combines such illegal actions as willful
consumption of narcotics, dealing in narcotics illegally, as well as
solicitation to use drugs, creating the conditions for becoming a part of
illegal drug trafficking.
This definition is acceptable on the whole and may be used as a basis
for describing the phenomenon, yet it fails to cover the biological aspect
and insufficiently expresses the economic, legal and criminological
There is a need for a term that would cover all the aspects of this
negative phenomenon, and of the ways of combating it.
Social Aspects of Drug Abuse:
Most concisely, the social aspect of drug abuse can be described as a
combination of social behaviors linked to narcotics and their social
consequences in the form of damage that has been done and can be done to
The actual negative social manifestations of drug abuse are expressed
in various drug-related actions: cultivation of drug bearing plants,
preparation, acquisition, storage, sale and consumption of narcotics, as
well as persuasion to use narcotics.
Negative Social Consequences of Drug Abuse:
The negative social consequences of drug abuse are similar to the
social consequences of crime. They amount to "real harm caused by crime to
social relationships and expressed in the cause-and-effect combination of
criminal behavior and in the direct and indirect, immediate and mediate
negative changes (damage, losses, and other ill effects), ultimately
affecting the social (economic, moral, legal, etc.) Values and also
implying the combination of society's economic and other social hazards
attributed to the effort to combat and to socially prevent crime.
Proceeding from this definition it is possible to recognize the
negative social consequences of drug abuse. The first is the negative
social changes, such as harm to people's health, the destruction of family
foundations, and a decline in work efficiency. The second is the cost which
society has to pay to overcome these changes. Other changes also include
refusal to work, various antisocial actions, and crime. A closer look at
these negative changes shows that drug addicts are poor workers because of
their ill health, which, in general, makes work impossible for them during
spells of abstinence. Their entire range of interests and thoughts lies in
the desire to find ways of obtaining drugs. The list of negative changes
also includes material damage perpetrated by the drug addicts who are often
the source of transportation accidents and accidents in industry. For
example, 60 billion dollars worth of damage is done annually in the United
States alone. There is also the moral damage resulting from the various
unlawful actions motivated by the desire to find means for buying drugs,
such as the willingness to commit crime for the sake of meeting that
desire. Forgery, embezzlement, abuse of authority and office duties is just
a few. Drug addicts create unbearable conditions for their families by
denying them normal lifestyles and means of existence. They harm their
offspring by upsetting the hereditary stock. Drug addicts undergo physical
and moral degradation and die early. They destroy their own basic moral and
The Committee of Experts of the World Health Organization determines
the social danger and negative consequences of drug abuse according to the
basic factors and divides them into two main groups: the breach of
relations among drug consumers and the spread of unfavorable consequences
among many people.
Specific Social Problems of Drug Abuse:
WHO experts describe the specific social problems caused by drug abuse
as follows: the huge material losses and their consequences in the form of
all kinds of damage done to those who immediately surround drug consumers
(parents, college roommates and so on) and to the society as a whole; the
deterioration of relations with official organizations and institutions,
staff at college and at work etc.; drug consumers' inclination to commit
crimes motivated by the need to have drugs or the means to buy them, and
also the mercenary and violent crimes committed under the influence of
drugs; the additional demand for welfare benefits and medical care for
persons using drugs other than for medicinal purposes and in connection
with this the unnoticed spending both by drug addicts and by society as a
whole; the danger arising from drug addicts as potential conduct of drug
addiction in their immediate surroundings.
Detailed research however allows for a broader list of specific social
aspects. They include: ideological and cultural, law enforcement, medical
care and preventative medicine, labor and education, family and leisure
time, and material resources. The specific ill effects of narcotics and
their unfavorable social consequences can be seen in any of the categories
listed above. For example, in the ideological and cultural area they
express themselves in the development of a specific drug ideology; in the
law enforcement area there is an increase of crime. In Medicare and
preventive medicine, there is deterioration in people's health and an
increase in the number of handicapped children. In industry and education -
a decline in labor efficiency and poor results at schools and other
educational centers is evident. One can also point to accidents and to
deterioration of relations among staff. In the family relations, a loss of
understanding occurs. All this requires setting up special schools,
preventive centers, drug departments at medical institutions,
rehabilitation centers and new antidrug programs.
To sum up the above-cited social aspects of drug abuse one may state,
that it is harmful in physical, moral and proprietary ways. This harm is
caused by the proliferation of the narcotic sub-culture as it draws more
victims into it; secondly, by drug-related crimes; thirdly, by crimes
committed for the purpose of getting means for buying more drugs; fourthly,
by crimes committed under the influence of drugs; and, finally, by the
spending needed to carry out various programs aimed at eliminating drug
Legal Aspect of Drug Abuse:
The legal aspect of drug abuse is also a part of the social aspect.
Crimes and other law-breaking acts covered by the totality of legal norms
involve the illegal cultivation of drug-bearing plants, the preparation,
storage, transportation, trafficking, sales, and theft of drugs, the use of
drugs without doctor's prescription, and the violation of laws regulating
the handling of narcotics. This also covers the situation when suitable
conditions are created for taking drugs and those in which more people are
persuaded to use drugs or when people have to commit crimes in order to
obtain means to buy drugs. Crimes committed under the influence of drugs,
as well as crimes that are committed for the purpose of getting money to
purchase drugs are included as well.
These crimes should be viewed as part of the notion of drug abuse since
they are caused by the desires of drug users to boost drug-inspired
activities or their level of intoxication. The legal aspect of drug abuse
also includes those relationships regulated by law and arising from the non-
medical use of drugs.
Criminological Aspect of Drug Abuse:
The criminological aspect of drug abuse includes a part of this
phenomenon that poses an extreme danger to the public, i.e. is linked to
the above-cited crimes, their state, level, structure, dynamics, cause-and-
effect, criminal's personality, and prevention measures, among others.
Economic Aspect of Drug Abuse:
The economic aspect of drug abuse is associated with its affect on
economy, such as large sums of money in possession of drug dealers, a
decline in labor productivity of drug addicts; an increase in spending on
law-enforcement engaged in combating drug-related crimes; and a drain on
national budgets due to preventive and rehabilitation measures to combat
drug addiction. Experts claim, for example, that in the former USSR, the
cost of illegal drug trafficking within the "narco-business-shadow economy"
amounted to billions of troubles.
Biological Aspect of Drug Abuse:
The biological aspect of drug abuse is associated with the notion that
it is "a disease manifested by a constant and insurmountable craving for
drugs (morphine, for example) causing euphoria in small doses and stupor in
large ones. The regular use of drugs arouses a desire to increase the dose.
The abstinence syndrome usually accompanies withdrawal.
Narcotics damage the internal organs of drug takers, destroy their
nervous systems, their state of mind, and bring about their social
Since drug addiction is a disease, there is a need to find a cure for
it. Hence, the need to have qualified medical personnel, special drug
rehabilitation centers and branches offices, effective medicines and
Ecological Aspect of Drug Abuse:
The ecological aspect of narcotics is associated, on the one hand, with
the natural existence of drug-bearing plants, and on the other, with their
man-made cultivation. These plants are a source of obtaining and preparing
narcotic substances. From the ecological point of view there is a need,
first, to do away with the spread of wild drug-bearing plants, and second,
to ban their man-made cultivation. The economic, biological and ecological
aspects are subjects for research by experts.
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