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Free «Substance Abuse» Essay Sample

Spun is a an excellent movie that depicts the effects of drug abuse, directed by Jones Akerlund in 2003, where Jason Schwartzman plays the role of Ross with John Leguizamo taking the role of Spider Mile. The movie depicts how events can change very quickly in search of fulfillment where the title “Spun” is  a perfect choice indicating how the influence of drugs can manage a victim. As the movie starts, Ross is making fine adjustments to achieve his intended goals within the shortest time possible. From all his options, going to his friend, Spider Mike’s place seems to be the only solution to his problems. It seems to Ross that Spider Mike can offer him the preferred solutions. From his intellectual abilities, Spider Mike feels obliged to sort out Ross. There seems to be trouble in the process because he seems to have lost his concealment. In the process of helping Spider Mike, Ross proposes that Mike to pass time in the company of his fellow escapists, the likes of Nikki, Frisbee and his girl Cookie. All this time Ross is looking for the lost narcotics. At the same time Nikki, the hot Vegas stripper has plans for his ride, a Volvo out in the parking lot, from which she comes up with a plot, a solution to cater for the lost narcotics.



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Like a hungry eagle, Nikki informs Ross that her boyfriend can supply him with any thing he might need. As the only solution, they drive to a tawdry roadside hotel where they meet Cook, the bad fellow who uses his motel as the lab for manufacturing drugs. To be specific, the kitchen is the key area where all manufacturing takes place. Without wasting time, Cook, prepares a batch for Ross that makes him high. Since Ross was an addict, Cook offers him a worth deal by giving him some drugs as a way to solicit a ride from Ross’s car. It is from all these involvements with Cook where Ross ends up becoming a hero in drug consumption and eventually Cook’s driver whom he trusts a lot. Under the influence of drugs, Ross engages in to strange activities every other time, cruising at thrilling speeds that presents no limits to death possibilities. For three days, they engage in a finding and abusing drugs (“Spun,” 2003). For a long time, illicit drugs have proven to be a hard nut to crack for many governments around the world. Perhaps as a cheaper way to earn a living by drug lords who engage in this vice of drug trade and as a means of escaping reality for the users, to manage the hard economic situations. Because of its great ability to manifest itself leading to its abuse, substance abuse is a grave social vice that needs proper understanding, all through its manifestation stages to curb the vice within the society.

Substance Abuse

For instance, in United States of America (USA), the negative effect of drug abuse within the society has called for quick intervention in approximately the past three decades. A commission set by the president of USA, indicated that by the 1960, “the concern and distress of the American people over the national problem of drug abuse is expressed every day in the newspapers, the magazines, scientific journals, public forums and in the home” (as cited in Gerstein & Green, 1993, p. 9). President Nixon declared heroin as the most dangerous enemy to the American society by the 1970’s. Coming to 1980’s cocaine came to the market, creating new concerns where majority of American citizens (64 %) polled indicating drugs as a major problem, in a survey conducted by the New York Times (Gerstein & Green, 1993, p. 9).

Determining the patterns in which the public get involved in drugs is a complex undertaking as it involves correlating in the many and ever changing patterns of illegal drug consumption. As public opinions may look fickle in the hands of politicians and the media, it is obvious that the problem of drug abuse is a problem that the people, at any level in the society encounter in their daily lives. Many scholars have the understanding that the issue of public health fatalities resulting from drug abuse such as alcohol and tobacco is a prime aspect. This is because these two can present more danger than what other substances like cocaine and heroin can present due to their positive correlation to the economic implications in dealing with these situations (Gerstein & Green, 1993, p. 10).

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In addition, factors involving criminology, moral dedications, unwelcoming survival, politics, and media influence defeats the effects of what the public perception can present in the efforts of preventions and positive substance use. Looking at the legal drugs such as alcohol and illegal substances like cocaine, their discrete implications are more evident in the legitimate perspective as opposed to what the medical personalities can implement.

When it comes to drugs, there are several circumstances that matter as far as establishing whether any drug can feature as a controlled substance or not. First, it is important to establish the comparative potential for abusing the drug. This consists of considerations made at individual levels where one consumes drugs to satisfy him/herself with an eventual consequence of harming him/herself and others in the society. To determine the potential abuse, considerations on the absolute drug abuse, the secret composition of the drug and the means of distribution involved are of ultimate importance. Secondly, any certified scientific available facts are worthy noting by determining the latest understanding concerning the drug’s historical abuse. Then understanding range of opportunity, period, and any benefits arising from its abuse are crucial factors to consider as well. To work out on the evidence, the historical mode of abuse, range of opportunity, time, and importance of abuse that leads to dangers on public health are the factors to establish. Note that these factors entail socials and medical considerations. Finally, the viable dangers associated with the drug as far as public health is concerned, the mental dominance and involved forerunner are other issues to establish (Karch, 1998, p. 3). For diagnostic purposes, substance abuse divides in to the fact of dependence, which involves usage of drugs in certain levels on recurring basis for a long period. Abuse itself is a fact arising from consumption of less dosages compared to dependence circumstance which eventually leads to easy detection of the substance effect on an individual, sometimes having adverse consequences like personal injuries and vehement,  and then drug use involves lower consumption levels of drugs which do not prove to have severe effects (Gerstein & Green, 1993, p. 12).

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Any managed drug features among the following intended lists. First, it consists of the class of drugs (Schedule I) that will have a high probability of abuse excluding those used for medical purposes. However, any prescriptions for medical purposes can turn to over dependence hence abuse. These include substances like marijuana and three, 4-methylenedioxy-amphetamine among others. From the second category (Schedule II) to fifth (Schedule V), the probability of substance abuse reduces where schedule II controllable drugs includes substance that have the highest abuse possibilities where some are valid but with restrictions from the medical sector. Schedule II substances will result to physical and mental reliance of the substances. Because this controllable category has medicinal substances, they are at the disposal of certified personalities guarded by legal pharmaceutical guidelines in their manufacturing. In addition, since schedule II substances act as depressants to victim’s nervous system, presenting a high probability of getting high fast, unqualified individuals just like Cook in the Spur film prepare illegal substances which the public abuse. Like methamphetamine and cocaine, non-certified manufactures make them in the unlawful market, which they end up making available for commercial dispersal (Karch, 1998, p. 4). Then from the third category to the fifth (Schedule III to IV), there are many legal drug manufacturing bodies, preparing drugs for legal market.

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The effect of addiction from substance like cocaine and nicotine among others has an effect to the body in such a way that it leads to eating disorders and addiction. These two shows much correlation in that they work towards increasing the rates of recidivism, with compensation that failing to eat is a compromising activity to drug addiction, which might not be the case. To other people, drug addition depicts itself from genetic inheritance that pose the threat of addiction. From the thinking point of view of the victim, there is a feeling of obtaining compensation, which leads to demonstration of particular behaviors and not others. The want to keep using of drugs and always being in possession of them are established systems that manifest within the minds of the victim in a self-administered manner. It is thus evident that drugs will “decrease the amount of brain stimulation required to motivate baseline responding” (Lowinson, 2005, p. 470). There is a feel that consumption of drugs brings fulfillment and success and this brings the wrong picture and understanding that drug addiction is a way of surviving. Through the process of addiction, the normal body functioning is overtaken by compelling and a forcing situation that will tend to maintain a feeling of highness bringing the sense of being rewarded by going high (Lowinson, 2005, p. 470).

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In summary, the issue of drug/substance abuse is an aspect that is slowly killing the positive motives of the society and it needs proper understanding, all through its manifestation stages to curb the vice within the society. From the film “Spur,” the likes of Ross and his friends engage into activities that to them looks okay but to the society, the activities are unacceptable. Whatever they are doing is under the control of illicit substances that drive them such that they loose control of their actions, leading to making decisions that have fatal consequences. As statistics in the United States of America show, the issue of drug/substance abuse is a great concern that needs government intervention to help solve the problem. As politics and media easily manipulate the public opinions, the fact of drug abuse is a grave matter. Difficulties arise in determining what categories to classify different drugs to either legal or illegal. To help in this, the stages through which drug addiction takes place are major issues of high priorities not forgetting the terminologies used like substance abuse, abuse itself, and substance use. In addition, classification in to categories (Schedules) help in diagnosis efforts to understand what effects are possible or which ones are already manifested in the victim.

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In the addiction point of view, different symptoms can show on the victim through the visible and non-visible characters, which ends up taking control of the victims actions to suicidal levels in the quest for the feel of highness. Therefore, the “Spur” and the issue of drug abuse positively relate in the fact that drugs can swiftly take control of one’s actions such that he/she fails to notice the fatal consequences in the final stages of addiction. To manage drug/substance abuse, is important to properly take note of the stages that lead to addiction as this helps to appropriate curb substance abuse.


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