The Tipping Point in the War on Drugs Essay

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As described in novel The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference the course of any trend, movement, social behavior, and even the spread of a virus has a general trend line that in essence resemble a parabola with 3 main critical points. Any trend line first starts from zero, grows until it crosses the first tipping point, and then spreads like wildfire. Afterwards, the trend skyrockets to its carrying capacity (Galdwell, 2000). Then the trend gradually declines before it reaches the next tipping and suddenly falls out of favor and out of memory. Gladwell defines tipping points as the “magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire” (Gladwell, 2000).
An important application is how tipping points and trend lines apply to the present status and future course of the war on drugs. According to Webster’s dictionary, a war is the “organized effort by a government or other large organization to stop or defeat something that is viewed as dangerous or bad” (Merriam-Weber’s online dictionary, n.d.). Most people will unanimously agree that drugs and alcohol are bad and at least potentially dangerous, especially in the case substance abuse. Alcohol, drugs, and synthetic substances are associated with crime, violence, moral decay, brain damage, higher high school dropout rates, a multitude of health issues, and a myriad of other societal issues. As a society, Americans actually pay a high toll for substance abuse. The bill for tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug abuse costs Americans more than $600 billion annually in areas such as crime, unemployment, loss of productivity, and health care cost ( National Institute on Drug Abuse, n.d.). Based upon these facts, it ma...

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... M., & Barr, C. S. (2010). Alcohol response and consumption in adolescent rhesus macaques: life history and genetic influences. Alcohol, 44(1), 67. doi:10.1016/j.alcohol.2009.09.034
The Global Commission on Drug Policy (2011). War on Drugs Report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy June 2011. Retrieved from
War [ Def. 2b]. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster Online. In Merriam-Webster. Retrieved March 23, 2014, from>.
West, S. L., & O'Neal, K. K. (2004). Project D.A.R.E. outcome effectiveness revisited. American Journal of Public Health. doi:10.2105/AJPH.94.6.1027
Sinha, R. (2009). Chronic Stress, Drug Use, and Vulnerability to Addiction. Annals of The New York Academy of Sciences, 1141, 105-130. doi:10.1196/annals.1441.030

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