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“Drugs are bad. You shouldn’t do drugs. If you do them, you’re bad. Because drugs are bad.” -- Mr. Mackey “Drugs are bad because if you do drugs, you’re a hippie and hippies suck.” -- Eric Cartman. Drugs Use: Nature and Extent. CJ/PS 4530 The War on Drugs a Dr. Matt presentation.

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“Drugs are bad. You shouldn’tdo drugs. If you do them, you’rebad. Because drugs are bad.”-- Mr. Mackey

“Drugs are bad because if you dodrugs, you’re a hippie andhippies suck.”

-- Eric Cartman

Drugs Use: Nature and Extent

CJ/PS 4530The War on Drugs

a Dr. Matt presentation


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Major Types of Drugs

  • Drugs are categorized according to their major effects on brain function and human behavior

  • stimulants

  • depressants

  • hallucinogens / psychedelics / dissociative anesthetics

  • narcotics/opiates

  • inhalants


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Major Types of Drugs

  • Stimulants – stimulate central nervous system (CNS) / increase activity of the brain and spinal chord

  • Depressants – lessen activity of the CNS / decrease or stop vital functions

  • Hallucinogens – produce mood and perceptual changes varying from sensory illusions to hallucinations

  • Narcotics– opium and opium derivatives, and their synthetic versions, used mostly as pain killers

  • Also:analgesics (painkiller), sedatives (calming aid), hypnotics (sleep aid)


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Some examples …

  • Stimulants – Caffeine, Nicotine, Cocaine, Amphetamines, Methamphetamine

  • Depressants – Alcohol, Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines

  • Hallucinogens – LSD, PCP, Marijuana, Shrooms, Peyote

  • Narcotics– Heroin, Codeine, Morphine, Oxycodone

    Some “club drugs” …

  • Methylenedioxymethamphetamine or MDMA … aka ecstasy(stimulant)

  • Gamma-hydroxybutyrate or GHB … aka grievous bodily harm(depressant)

  • Flunitrazepam / Rohypnol … aka roofies (depressant)

  • Ketamine … aka special K(hallucinogen)


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Extent of Drug Use in USA

  • Major sources of information about drug use:

  • National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) -- national survey/interviews with approximately 70,000 randomly selected individuals aged 12 and older

  • Started in 1971, modified twice (1999 and 2002)

  • National and state-level estimates of the past month, past year, and lifetime use of tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, and non-medical use of prescription drugs


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Extent of Drug Use in USA

  • Major sources of information about drug use:

  • Monitoring the Future (MTF) -- national survey/interviews with approximately 50,000 randomly selected students in 8th, 10th and 12th graders

  • Started in 1975 (12th graders), added other grades in 1991

  • National estimates of the past month, past year, and lifetime use of tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, and non-medical use of prescription drugs

  • Also measures disapproval and perceived harmfulness & availability


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Extent of Drug Use in US(NSDUH)

  • NSDUH findings:

  • Lifetime use: 114.3 million users (46.1% of pop.)

    • Mostly marijuana (40.6%) followed by psychotherapeutics (20.3%)

  • Past year use: 35.7 million users (14.4%)

    • Most marijuana (10.1%) followed by psychotherapeutics (6.6%)

  • Past month (current) use: 19.9 million users (8% of pop.)


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Extent of Drug Use in US(NSDUH)

  • Current use(NSDUH)


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Extent of Drug Use in US(NSDUH)

  • Current use(NSDUH)


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Extent of Drug Use in US(NSDUH)

  • Current use(NSDUH)


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Extent of Drug Use in US(NSDUH)

  • Current use(NSDUH)


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Extent of Drug Use in US(NSDUH)

  • Current use(NSDUH)


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Extent of Drug Use in US(NSDUH)

  • Current use(NSDUH)


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Extent of Drug Use in US(NSDUH)

  • Other interesting facts re current use (NSDUH):

  • Current use lower for full-time college students than non-students (but higher lifetime use for students)

  • Current use lowest for college grads

  • Current use lowest for full-time employed (but most users are employed)

  • Highest rates in the west, lowest in the south

  • Highest rates in cities, lowest in rural counties


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Extent of Drug Use in US(NSDUH)

  • Now more initiates of prescription drug use per year than marijuana!


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Extent of Drug Use in US(NSDUH)

  • Other interesting facts re current use (NSDUH):

  • 51.1% use alcohol

  • 23.3% binge drink (5 or more drinks at one setting at least once a month)

  • 6.9% heavy drink (5 or more drinks at one setting at least five times a month)



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Extent of Drug Use in US(NSDUH)

  • 28.6% use tobacco

  • 24.2% smoke cigarettes


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Extent of Drug Use in US(NSDUH)

  • Highest rates of smoking for 18-25 year olds (36.2%) versus 9.8% of 12-17 year olds


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Extent of Drug Use in US(NSDUH)

  • Other interesting facts re current use (NSDUH):

  • Users of alcohol and tobacco more likely to be current users of illicit drugs

  • Tobacco users about 9 times more likely …

  • Heavy drinkers about 12 times more likely …


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Extent of Drug Usein US (MTF)

  • MTF findings (12th, 10th, 8th graders)

  • Lifetime use: 47.4%, 34.1%, 19.6%

  • Past year use: 36.6%, 26.9%, 14.1%

  • Past month (current) use: 22.3%, 15.8%, 7.6%

  • Current use is higher among 12th graders for virtually every drug (one drug consistently higher for 8th graders)


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Extent of Drug Usein US (MTF)

  • MTF Prevalence of Current Use (12th graders):

  • Alcohol – 43.1%

  • Been drunk – 27.6%

  • Cigarettes – 20.4%

  • Marijuana – 19.4%


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Extent of Drug Usein US (MTF)

  • Smokeless tobacco – 6.5%

  • Narcotics – 3.8% (heroin – 0.4%)

  • Amphetamines – 2.9% (meth – 0.6%)

  • Sedatives – 2.8%

  • Tranquilizers – 2.6%


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Extent of Drug Usein US (MTF)

  • Hallucinogens – 2.2% (LSD – 1.1%)

  • Cocaine – 1.9%

  • Ecstasy – 1.8%

  • Inhalants – 1.4%

  • Steroids – 1%


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Extent of Drug Usein US (MTF)

  • Current use(MTF)

Trend lines


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Extent of Drug Usein US (MTF)

  • Other interesting facts re current use (MTF):

  • Perceived harmfulness of drug use generally NOT up

  • Perceived disapproval of drug use generally NOT up

  • Perceived availability of drugs generally NOT down


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If we’re going to have a “war on drugs” which drugs should we pursue???

  • Answer depends on …?

  • Degree of harm caused to individuals by drug use/abuse?

  • Degree of harm caused to families, communities and society by drug use/abuse?

  • Degree of dependence/addiction triggered by drug use experimentation?

  • If we used these criteria, on what drugs would we focus?


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If we’re going to have a “war on drugs” which drugs should we pursue???

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140673607604644/fulltext


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We might also ask law enforcement … should we pursue???

National Drug Intelligence Center: “Which drug poses the greatest threat in your area?”


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We might also ask law enforcement … should we pursue???

National Drug Intelligence Center: “Which drug poses the greatest threat in your area?”


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Activity should we pursue???

  • What are discrepancies in descriptions of drugs from ONDCP and the Drug Policy Alliance/Safety First???


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