General Characteristics of Cocaine Use
The research investigates the problem of cocaine use in the modern society. Nowadays, cocaine is considered to be one of the strongest drugs. Consequently, it has enormous influence on human life. That is why the research provides analysis of the influence of cocaine on society. It has been proved that many individual suffer from this kind of addiction. That is why there are alternative solutions to it. The first solution is medical treatment, which presupposes the usage of medicine. The second alternative is vocational training. Both of the solutions are effective. Nevertheless, it is important to pay individual attention to the problem. The research emphasizes the importance of government actions in order to neutralize the problem in the country.
Nowadays, the problem of drug abuse has gained a wide popularity in the contemporary world. In fact, a variety of individuals consider drugs as harmful products while others assert that they help to overcome fatal diseases. Accordingly, the issue related to drug consumption is quite controversial. Many researches have already been carried out concerning lethal consequences as well as benefits of drugs. Some individuals believe that drugs cause only addiction and death. The others suppose that these chemical substances mitigate sufferings and enable to ease pain respectively. Consequently, one may speak about positive and negative aspects of the drug usage. Actually, there are different kinds of drugs, namely light ones and strong ones. Each kind of drug has a particular impact on the human organism. The most popular drugs are cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, ecstasy, opium, and marijuana. In order to understand all possible effects of the drug use, one has to analyze the particular type of drug. The basic objective of the paper is to analyze cocaine as the most popular drug in the modern world.
Nowadays, many researches have been conducted in the field of cocaine pharmacology, analyzing its usage and effects. In fact, cocaine is an alkaloid agent, which is taken from the coca plant that grows in South America. This kind of drug has similar effects as caffeine, khat and amphetamine. The usage of cocaine can lead to debilitating mental and physical consequences. From the historical point of view, cocaine was introduced in the mid-1970s. The data proves that from 1974 until 1982 the number of people who tried cocaine increased by four times. According to the data from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse 1974-1984, incessant spread of cocaine usage started increasing in the early 1980s (Kelly, 2010) In fact, there was an epidemic of cocaine use in the USA in the 1970s. Abelson suggested that increasing use of the mentioned drug has been traced among people of all ages. The approximate age of cocaine abuse among the youth was from 12 to 17. Furthermore, Abelson proved that most of the abusers were residents of the metropolitan areas. They took drugs on different occasions, namely night party, birthday party or just hanging with friends’ party. They could take different kinds of drugs at once. One more interesting fact is that most of the cocaine abusers are graduates. Substance abuse is considered to be the lasting tendency among the youth. They take drugs in order to be cool and prepared for adult life. However, the impact of the permanent consumption of cocaine can lead to fatal consequences. Its abuse is associated with medical complications. Acute and chronic cocaine use may lead to cardiovascular diseases, psychiatric disorders, respiratory disorders, and obstetric conditions. The worst consequence of cocaine usage is dependence. The research conducted in the USA shows that more than 5% of cocaine users become dependent during the first year, while the dependence of not more than 20% of abusers progresses for a long period of time (Kelly, 2010) According to Cunningham, about 40% of addicted users recover without particular treatment. There is evidence that many addicts can control the usage of drugs by providing rules about the amount to consume. One may admit that the mentioned information proves the negative impact of cocaine on any society. Nevertheless, there are many facts that prove the opposite. Being an extracted substance, it is used for various purposes, having different restrictions in certain cultures. From medical point of view, cocaine is used as a strong anesthetic. It is usually applied to perform surgical operations since it enables to numb certain part of the body in 1-2 minutes. Moreover, cocaine narrows blood vessels, helping to decrease bleeding. Furthermore, the greatest benefit of the useof cocaine in medicine is its painkilling properties. This drug helps to overcome the pain caused by cancer and other fatal diseases. Analyzing the mentioned information, one may admit that the negative influence of the cocaine use prevails. Consequently, it leads to serious problems in a particular society.
The Impact of Cocaine on Society
Daily consumption of cocaine destroys society. Being addicted, an individual totally changes his/her life priorities. The basic concerns of an addict are drugs and ways to find them. Under such conditions, social life is destroyed. Drugs are considered the main reasons of the decline of society. It leads to the increase in crime rate and divorce rate. The bright example can be the situation in the USA during 1963-1980. According to statistics, “a person who lived in a large American city ran a greater risk of being murdered that an American soldier in World War II ran of being killed in combat” (Cavender, 2004). Moreover, a social science historian Monkkonen conducted profound research on the urban crime in the City of New York. The author investigated the possible causes that lead to the emergence of crime in the outskirts of the city. Professor released the book Murder in New York City as a manual of his research remarks and analysis. The main objective of the writer is to illustrate the fact that New York, as well as the United States of America in general, possesses higher crime level than other parts of the world, including London and Liverpool (Mokkonen, 132). Moreover, he emphasizes that a combination of many factors causes the emergence and growth of crime. The major reason is drug addiction. The excessive cocaine use forces individuals to commit crimes in order to obtain the desirable drug.
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Evaluating the influence of drugs on families, one may admit that they totally influence the emotional health. The family can feel disappointed and hurt under the influence of drug addiction. Constant quarrels can cause mental and emotional disorders in the family. Moreover, it can lead to isolation between family members It is one of the most horrible problems, which impedes normal life. A person becomes strict, sometimes being afraid to communicate with people. Consequently, it can lead to depression, which in its turn can cause some fatal diseases. One may admit that sooner or later drug addiction influences the future of the family. Furthermore, almost every family suffers from emotional burnout. Living in a stressful surrounding makes it difficult to cope with ceaseless negative emotions during a certain period of time. Moreover, not everyone can resist the outbreak of anger. Under such circumstances, relationships in the family gradually decline. Consequently, the problem of the drug addiction treatment emerges. That is why many hospitals provide lasting treatment of drug addiction. Nevertheless, before providing the most popular methods of treatment, one should realize that there are some stages of drug addiction.
The Basic Stages of Drug Addiction
There are certain stages of drug dependence, which do not necessarily happen in the strict order. Moreover, patients do not undergo all of them respectively. However, the general division of the addiction career into separate stages looks like the following.
In accordance with Anglin et al. (1988), drug addiction begins with initiation or experimentation. This stage is completely psychological as it depends on a person’s desires to break the common rules and actualize them in such a manner. The addiction can stop at this stage and never repeat again.
The second step is escalation, which presupposes both mental and physical addiction. In fact, this phase is dangerous since it can make an individual become addicted to the drugs. Individuals begin to feel not only a psychological demand for a new dose, but also a physical one, which is caused by the demands of organs to receive a certain amount of substances. This phase is also called a culmination of the addiction career.
The third stage is relatively stable one as it is grounded on the regular drug consumption without any negative outcomes (Preble, & Casey, 1969). However, the situation completely changes at the next stage, which includes the jail or treatment experience because of the illegal consumption of drugs. In addition, people may also feel some health disorders caused by their addiction at this stage. The fourth stage is called dysfunctional.
The following two stages presuppose recovery from the addiction and condition of being an “ex-addict”. Very often, it is possible to recover from drugs and return to ordinary social life. The fifth step forms a special interest for this research as it is directly related with the process of recovery and various types of treatment programs. This stage includes changes in the individual’s behavior and mental abilities. It involves mental mechanism of recovery, which is based on the willpower and mental strength of the patients. In the beginning, addicts need to dispense with drug consumption at least abstractly and change their efforts and activities into the other direction.
Obviously, the recovering process is not an easy and quick one. Usually, it requires huge efforts and powerful desire to get rid of this dreadful habit. In all cases, the result of the recovery depends on the addict’s understanding and personal efforts. It is absolutely true that it is impossible to give up drugs without personal consciousness and persuasion in the necessity of this task.
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Different Kinds of Medical Treatment
Nowadays, many hospitals provide lasting treatment, which presupposes visiting medical institutions for a long period of time. In fact, everything depends on the level of addiction. If it is a lighter addiction, the treatment will not be as complex as in the case of severe dependence. The individuals have to undergo rehabilitation, which is considered the only possible way out of the mentioned situation. Behavior therapy has the greatest influence. The individuals have to undergo psychological treatment. Most of the doctors base their treatment on the communication techniques. They try to persuade individuals in the harmful consequences of the cocaine consumption. The cognitive therapy method is the most effective since it helps to realize and avoid drug addiction. That is why there are many therapist communities in the hospitals. They try to provide profound support for the addicts.
Speaking about medical treatment, most of the hospitals use various medicaments to neutralize the influence of cocaine. Nevertheless, since cocaine is considered the strong drug, medicaments only decrease its influence. Thus, pharmacists try to find medicines that are suitable for every individual. The treatment course presupposes lasting investigation of the physical state of the patient, as well as an appropriate treatment.
The Role of the Vocational Training in the Recovery of the Addicts’ Self-esteem
Vocational training can be understood either as part of the recovery program or a separate treatment, which aims at decreasing the level of addiction and providing possibilities for the patients to return to the social life. It is obvious that the vocational training is a complex process, which includes support and help from psychologists, social workers, family members, and professional doctors. Such a fruitful cooperation results in a solid and effective recovery from the drug abuse.
Actually, the process of vocational training involves possibilities, which allow the patients taking part in new social roles and learning about new abilities and opportunities. Many individuals understand it as something new, namely new work and social life. Probably, such aspect shows the efficiency and fruitfulness of rehabilitation work with addicted people.
Vocational training widely uses the principles of workplace and its role in the improvement of addicts’ self-esteem, self-respect, and self-confidence (Hewitt, 2009). It is not a secret that a good job satisfies human demands for respect, ambitions and self-actualization. From this point of view, vocational training provides the patients with a brilliant opportunity to feel this experience and realize the benefits of the appropriate work. In addition, a job encourages people to gain new goals and gain new personal skills and achievements. In other words, employment stimulates workers to reach new heights in their lives and develop personal qualities and features. Therefore, it is possible to state that a proper job and qualification play a crucial role in the development of individuals and provide them with all the essential elements of successful life.
Thus, it becomes obvious that vocational training emphasizes the possibility to obtain a favorable work, which primarily increases the patients’ self-esteem. After this shift in consciousness and self-perception, the addicts find themselves ready for the new changes and social roles.
Treatment Modalities and Vocational Services
Nowadays, there is a great variety of recovery programs for addicts, which utilize the principles of vocational services. Thus, according to Price et al. (1991), approximately 36% of all treatment programs apply to the vocational training as a part of the recovery. Similarly, the concepts of employment and workplace were utilized in 59.4% of hospital-based programs. It is a relatively high index, which supports the effectiveness of the vocational training as a tool of increasing the addicts’ self-esteem.
The other part of recovery programs includes the notion of the vocational rehabilitation. Many researchers, for example, Deren and Randell (1990), suppose it to be a productive tool, which helps to refocus the addicted people toward the normal life and world of socially accepted work. Such rehabilitation commonly involves evaluation of personal vocational needs, employment counseling, skills acquisition, professional training, and job placement (Joe, Chastain, & Simpson, 1990). A range of vocational rehabilitation programs for patients with addiction have been inaugurated and launched. These recovery programs provide a great number of services, including employment counseling, job placement, job-seeking skills training, and employment readiness training. The results seem to be quite optimistic and fruitful.
Recommendation for Addressing the Problem
The great solution to the mentioned problem is participation of addicts in vocational training to fight against cocaine dependence. That is why it should be more developed and profound. Nevertheless, it has enormous benefits because it is a perfect alternative in the fight against drug addiction. As it was already mentioned, vocational treatment focuses its attention on the process of improvement of the patients’ behavior in the everyday life, which is based on individual beliefs, interests, and objectives. During the process of vocational training, patients with addiction cooperate with professional counselors, who have proper education and skills to provide a great number of vocational, educational, supportive, and psychological services (Wolkstein and Spiller, 1998). Generally, it is possible to divide these services into five essential functions (Schottenfeld et al., 1992).
The first function of vocational training is the necessity to provide information to patients about the job market, as well as knowledge, skills and experience essential to find a workplace and demonstrate high results. Moreover, the task of vocational training is to explain different kinds of stressors and teach patients to adapt to various situations and react properly to them.
Vocational services assist the patients and help them to develop a realistic view of their own skills, possibilities, knowledge, and ambitions. This aspect allows patients to find their place in society and define personal goals and aims. In addition, vocational rehabilitation involves the practice relative to the development of problem-solving skills. Obviously, such qualities will be of great value for the patients when they start their social life.
Furthermore, vocational training supports the clients in their attempts to develop proper motivation for the further employment and work experience. It means that this type of recovery focuses on the importance of mental health and well-being for the complete recovery from the drug addiction. Such an approach appears to be useful and helpful. The practice shows that patients with any mental deviations are less prone to the addiction recovery than those, who face no psychological problems. The same happens in relation to the addicts’ self-esteem. If it remains low or unsatisfied, patients cannot cope with the new situations and concentrate on the addiction recovery (Baumeister, Campbell, Krueger, & Vohs, 2003). Mental deviations result in the low attention, memorizing and other mental processes (Fanetta, 2003). Thus, the regulation of the mental state should be a first step of every recovery or rehabilitation program.
One of the most important recommendations is to make the government response to the problem. The government has to control the situation of drug use in the country. The researches should be conducted in order to check the level of drug addiction in the USA. One more important fact is the family response. Every family should speak with children in order to prevent the mentioned problem. It is of paramount importance to elucidate the outcomes of drug addiction to children. It will help to reduce the level of drug dependence in the country as well as in the family.
Drug addiction continues to be a serious threat to the lives of thousands of people. Despite powerful anti-drugs campaigns and the existence of different recovery programs, substance use disorder still remains a great problem in the modern world. According to the statistics of SAMHSA, approximately 13 million of adult people need treatment for drug abuse. Such statistics was reported in 2009. In fact, the above-mentioned data relates to the 9.3% of the general population. In addition, nearly two and a half million people (11.2%) are required to undergo a professional treatment in accordance with a certain recovery program. That is why it necessary to find appropriate ways of solution to the problem of drug dependence. Nowadays, there are two main ways to overcome drug abuse, namely medical and social ones. The medical treatment is the lasting process that involves taking strong medical substances. Another way is social influence on the addicted people. The best example is vocational training. The main advantage of vocational training consists in its versatile structure and system of tools and resources. Vocational services presuppose the combination of practical skills with the psychological treatment and general recovery. Probably, this is the main factor, which determines enormous success of this program. Consequently, it can be asserted that all members of society are responsible for analysis and prevention of drug addiction outcomes. Social cooperation will help to decrease the rate of drug addiction in the country.
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