Explain the harmful effects of drugs such as ecstasy on the individual and society.

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In recent years, the rising use of addictive drugs has become one of the biggest social problems menacing certain countries. The illicit use of a variety of drugs appears to be increasing. Generally, a drug can be a substance, other than those required for the maintenance of normal health, which by its chemical nature alters the structure or function of a living organism. In this essay, drugs are more appropriate defined as psychoactive drugs such as ecstasy and cannabis, which lead to the influence of the central nervous system in mood, thought and behaviour. In addition, drugs can be classified into three categories ¡V depressants, stimulants and hallucinogens (McGill, 2002, 78). It is widely believed that taking drugs can lead to harmful consequences on the individual and society. Therefore, this essay is concentrated on explaining the physical and psychological effects on individuals and the social impacts on society.

Despite the belief that the perceived benefits outweigh the negatives, the negligence of the harmful consequences and dangers of drug taking results from the little or no drugs¡¦ knowledge among the drug takers. The truth is taking drugs may bring physical and psychological effects on individuals. Taking ecstasy as an example, also known as MethyleneDioxyMethAmphetamine, is a drug made with Lysergic Acid Diethylamide and amphetamines. The effects of ecstasy begin about thirty minutes after use and may last for four hours (Hurwitz, 1992, 21). Owing to the new development of youth ¡§club¡¨ or ¡§rave¡¨ culture, there is a rise of ecstasy use as recreational drugs among the young generation. Referring to National Drug Strategy, it explains that 40 per cent of the Australian population aged 14 or older has tried cannabis which is the most widely used illicit drug in Australia. This is followed by ecstasy which is the most frequently used amphetamines due to the substantial rise in the use and availability of amphetamine-type substances (1998, Internet).

Although the drug takers may experience positive changes in feelings and emotions, a high energy level and increasing confidence in the first few hours after taking ecstasy, there are harmful effects afterwards. According to Ecstasy Organization, it states that the short term effects of taking ecstasy include having dilated pupils, jaw clenching and teeth grinding, sweating, a rise in body tem...

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...d incarcerated perpetrators of drug- related crimes (20.4 percent), lost legitimate production due to drug-related crime careers (19.7 percent), and other costs of drug-related crimes, including Federal drug traffic control, property damage, and police, legal, and corrections services (18.4 percent). Most of the remaining costs resulted from premature deaths (14.9 percent), lost productivity due to drug-related illness (14.5 percent), and healthcare expenditures (10.2 percent) (1995, Internet).

Thus, in summary, although drugs such as ecstasy and cannabis may bring positive changes in feelings and emotions and a rise in energy level, it is no denying that the long-term negative physical and psychological effects outweigh the benefits on individuals. Likewise, it may still be suggested that the use of drug may also have social impacts such as increase in crime rate, family and work problems as well as economic costs on society. Drug abuse has detrimental effects on both individuals and society that has no sure end but tragedy. It is a dilemma that cannot be neglected. Future and current societies and governments must work to address to it, otherwise it will spread like a disease.
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