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Drug abuse: Tendencies and ways to overcome it

Drug abuse: Tendencies and ways to overcome it




1. Introduction


Chapter 1. Concept, Manifestations and Tendencies of

Drug Abuse


2. The Concept and Manifestation of Drug Abuse 4-


3. Tendencies of Development


Chapter II. System and Classification of Measures to Overcome

Drug Abuse


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

12. Conclusion



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

ethical values.

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

curative methods.

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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