Drug Use in America

In: Social Issues

Submitted By sarahlouise79
Words 432
Pages 2
History of Drugs in America
Drugs have always played a pivotal role in American history and culture. In our present day society drugs are seen in a very negative light. This has not always been the case in America, in fact, drugs helped to establish our country. The evolution of drugs in the U.S. is ever changing; the attitudes, restrictions, and understanding of drugs are still constantly evolving. Tobacco held a very important role in the survival of early American colonies. The colony of Virginia was able to save itself from near bankruptcy once they began to grow and harvest the tobacco plant. Soon demand was so great that slaves were brought in to help harvest crops. Alcohol was another substance that played a crucial role in colonial life. Drinking water was not safe to drink, so alcohol became the common beverage during this era. Both alcohol and tobacco was used as legal tender in these early years of our country. During the early 1800’s other drugs were being introduced into the United States. Opium was brought over by Chinese slaves and quickly was found to hold great medicinal benefits. Opium was able to be synthesized into morphine, and used as a pain killer. The effects of prolonged usage were not understood and addiction became an issue. Heroin and cocaine also became household drugs used to treat almost any ailment. Numerous different companies marketed different medicines and included these in their ingredients. Addictions had now reached an all-time high with every social class affected.

The realization was finally reached that there needed to be drug regulations, and that many of these drugs needed to be illegal except when used for medical conditions. Addicts were now seen as criminals. Over the next decades drug abuse has continued to be a problem, and many attempts have been made to criminalize the usage of many…...

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