How has the issue of drug addiction and the ‘war on drugs’ changed over the past 20 years?
The Changing Face of the War on Drugs in the U.S.

Drug abuse has been defined as a significant social problem. This discussion provides an opportunity to examine this problem as well as the ways in which our reliance on punishment as a solution to drug abuse has changed over the years, given the different populations now impacted by the problem.

For this discussion, review the following resources:

Race, poverty and punishment: The impact of criminal sanctions on racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic inequality
Opiate Addiction: Sociologists Construct Distinct Profiles For Heroin And Prescription Painkiller Users
War on Drugs Failure Gives Way To Treatment in States, Cities
Race, poverty and punishment: The impact of criminal sanctions on racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic inequality
When Addiction has a White Face
Recommended: Chasing Heroin (for transcript click here)
After reviewing the required resources for this discussion, please address each of the following:

How has the issue of drug addiction and the ‘war on drugs’ changed over the past 20 years? In particular, how have the populations impacted by drugs changed?
Is drug addiction treated as a crime or as a medical issue in our society? In your informed opinion, which should it be? Defend your answer using the resources provided.
In your informed opinion, what do you think is the best course of action to address the drug addiction epidemic in the U.S.? Should it differ by which drug is being abused? Should it differ by the population using the drugs?
Drug addiction is increasingly impacting whites, women, and middle/upper class people. How have these changes impacted the social construction of drug addiction in our society? In other words, how have these changes impacted the ways in which drug abuse is or is not criminalized and how it is treated by the criminal justice system?


 

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