We live in a world today where if an individual were to attend a college party, a co-worker gets together or even go to a club, there will more than likely be some type of drug present. There are illegal substance drugs such as crack, heroin, and the most common one, marijuana. Then we have prescription drugs such as Vicodin, oxycontin, and Adderall. These types of drugs have always been around and have become more and more in use as of today. The fact that illegal drugs are illegal and people are still being able to get a hold of them, can clearly tell you that these drugs are definitely going nowhere. It is only a matter of time that some of these drugs, for example, marijuana, will eventually start to become legal even if it is for medical use only. On the other hand, we have legal prescription drugs that are being used specifically for medical symptoms and are being abused by the users which can lead to the death of overdose. No matter what, drugs, illegal or legal, have taken over in the U.S.
Prescription Drug VS Illegal Drugs
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Here is a list of differences between prescription drug use and illegal substance use. A more obvious difference between the two is that legal prescription drugs can be bought over the counter at a pharmacy prescribed by a doctor, but illegal drugs cannot for the fact that they are not legally manufactured in the U.S. That is not including marijuana since it is legal in some states but in other states, it is still considered illegal. Another difference is the socioeconomic status of users abusing these drugs. Women and whites are more likely than men, blacks, and Hispanics to abuse prescription drugs. Also, people with some college education are more likely than those with less education to abuse these drugs. Those likely to use heroin are the lower class individuals who live in poor neighborhoods. Crack, another form of cocaine, revolves around the poor as well since it is a lot cheaper than cocaine itself. Marijuana is more likely to be used by men than women and among young adults.
How hard is it to have access to prescription and illegal drugs? The availability of prescription drugs may seem hard since most of these drugs require a doctor to have prescribed them to the individual. It turns out, prescribed medication can be found in almost every home in a drawer or in the medicine cabinet. According to Thio et al., one reason is simply that the drug is easily available, thanks to the sharp increase in the prescriptions written by doctors as well as in the medications sold online without prescription. There is also the forging of doctors’ signatures and something called doctor shopping where a person will visit different doctors to gain more medications. As for illegal drugs, the thought of easy availability is quite harder than that of legal ones. In order for someone to get their hands on illegal drugs, they have to know a dealer or someone who knows of a dealer or “plug” to be able to get these drugs. Usually, it is through friends or family as a way to get illegal drugs sometimes even at school among fellow classmates.