Since time immemorial, human beings were curious to expand their consciousness and alter the perception of the world. Moreover, not only human beings but animals as well seem to have the need for altering consciousness, as there are numerous examples of drug use in the animal words (e.g. cat-mint). Drugs are successfully used for medical purposes. Drug use has always been a part of human society, but the attitude to drug use and relevant regulations vary significantly among different historic periods.
For example, in the 17th century the economy of the U.S. was actually driven by the production of rum and tobacco, and in the 19th century such drugs as cocaine and opiates became easily available (Johnstone, 2012). The drugs were often used for medication; drug use for recreational purposes also increased, as well as drug production and trafficking. As a result, drug addiction rates among population increased, and in the early 20th century the use of drugs was restricted (Johnstone, 2012). The information about the effect of drugs became scarce, and the very use of drugs was tabooed. However, these measures were not efficient because the public lacked understanding of the effect of drugs, and the potential of drug use in medicine was affected.
The periods of drug tolerance in the U.S. history were replaced by periods of restriction and temperance, for example, during the 1960s the drug culture proliferated, but in the 1980s there was a new turn towards drug intolerance (Johnstone, 2012). Given the global history of drug use to date, it is recommended to do the following: provide detailed information on the pros and cons of using drugs, inform the public of the consequences of using drugs, combat international drug trafficking by increasing international control over the countries which are the major drug suppliers, develop preventive programs for “risk groups”, provide assistance and recovery facilities to drug addicts, ensure that illegal drug-related activities are punished and the information is disseminated, and working with heavy drug users to prevent their involvement in criminal activities. The idea behind such approach is to replace the “war on drugs” to the actions against drug abuse: educate the public, regulate the use of drugs and eliminate illegal drug trafficking and drug-related criminal activity.
Johnstone, P. (2012). Drugs and Drug Trafficking. Kendall Hunt Pub Co.