Common illicit drugs

The use of Illegal/illicit drugs is prevalent among individuals worldwide. Moreover, the most common illicit drugs which is being widely used is marijuana, Mary Jane, or what they call crack. Marijuana is regarded as the primary substance abused specifically by homeless individuals admitted in rehab programs; this is because marijuana is an easy access drug and it is easily available anywhere plus, it could be grown in your own garden.

Literature Review ILLICIT DRUGS: Extent of the problem For instance, it was put into account that a percentage of 34. 8 among the adolescents in the United States were reported to have used illicit drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, steroids, intravenous drugs, ecstasy and other illegal drugs, and lastly, some other inhalants. Moreover, as reported by the Office of National Drug Control Policy in 1998, a percentage of 6. 1 amounting to a total number of 13 M US citizens, aging 12 years and up, were included in the bracket of those classified as present drug users (citation). However, in 1997, another survey was conducted to take note and list the number of drug users in the United States.

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The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) initiated to conduct this research and they came up with the following results: a) Users of marijuana were 47. 1 % in the US population; b) users of cocaine, also known as “crack,” “powder,” and “freebase,” resulted to 8. 2 % in the population; c) users of steroids resulted to 3. 1 % in the population; d) users of intravenous drugs resulted to 2. 1 % in the population; e) some illegal drugs including LSD’s, PCS’s, ecstasy, mushroom, speed ice and heroin resulted to 17 % in the population; and last but not the least, f) users of inhalants resulted to 16% in the US population.

Consequentially, a ratio of 1:10 or percentage or a percentage of 9. 7 (%) have already experienced using marijuana even before they reach age 13 (citation). Moreover, the rates of marijuana users differ by gender and age. Estimates report that a percentage of 12. 2 among males have been using the illicit drug, marijuana; on the other hand, a percentage of 6. 7 among females have been using marijuana below the age of thirteen (13). This shows that there is an increased likelihood for men to engage in using marijuana than women (Duffy & Wong, 2000, p. 221).

Relatively, for illicit drug users of marijuana, its state prevalence rate among homeless individuals is ranging from 12. 3 – 35. 3 % while its prevalence rate in school is ranging from 15. 7 – 29. 3 %. Similarly, for illicit drug users of cocaine, its state prevalence rate among homeless individuals is ranging from 0. 2 – 5. 8 % while its prevalence rate in school is ranging from 0. 6 – 4. 4 %. Among drug users of steroids, state prevalence rate among homeless individuals is ranging from 0. 5 – 6. 7 % while prevalence rate in school is ranging from 1. 8 – 4. 6 %. Further, state prevalence rate of intravenous drugs among homeless individuals is ranging from 0. 3 – 4. 2 % while prevalence rate in school is ranging from 0. 8 – 3. 5 %.

In addition, other illegal drugs’ state prevalence among homeless individuals is ranging from 0. 9 – 26. 4 % while prevalence rate in school is ranging from 2. 6 – 15. 9 %. Lastly, inhalant drug users among homeless individuals have a state prevalence rate ranging from 7. 4 – 28. 4 % while prevalence rate in school is ranging from 6. 2 – 17. 7 % (p222). Obviously, marijuana is the best widely known and widely used illicit drug among US citizens especially among homeless individuals admitted in rehab programs. Moreover, another study conducted to obtain the prevalence rate of marijuana drug users in school setting show that a percentage of 26. 2 % of the students in a particular school had taken the illicit drug (once or habitually), marijuana in a thirty day period or a month before the survey was even conducted.

Moreover, it is to put into account that race, gender, age, and ethnicity factors play an important role upon using the illicit/prohibited drug, marijuana. The study also proves that male, homeless individuals were more prone to smoke or inhale marijuana (citation). Statistics show that 50. 7 percent of homeless male uses marijuana compared to 42. 9 percent of homeless females.

For users of the illicit drug steroids however, 4. 1 percent of homeless male were reported compared to 2 percent of females using the drug. Users of inhalants for homeless male were 17. 6 percent while a total percentage of 14. 15 % accounts for the female inhalants users. On the other hand, speaking about race and ethnicity, users of illicit drugs also vary: among the White and Hispanic, homeless females, 2. 3 % accounts for White female, homeless drug users while the 5. 3 % accounts for the Hispanic, homeless female drug users. Further, a percentage of 2 % black, homeless female individuals were reported to use illicit drug cocaine in their household (p222). The use of illegal or prohibited drugs like that of marijuana, has many disadvantages for the user.

Increased rate of crime, violence in the household, workplace or anywhere, unproductive behavior and also, the proliferation of various sexually transmitted diseases are just some of the major outcome of prohibited drug use or drug abuse among individuals. Furthermore, it was reported in 1995 that 60 % of those admitted in federal prison of the United States were convicted with prohibited/illicit drug intake or abuse. However in 1996, an estimate of 1. 5 M resident/homeless Americans were also taken into custody in prison due to prohibited drug use/abuse.

It is therefore becoming evident that the prevalence rate of illicit drug users/abusers is increasing its volume since 1985 until 1995, as they were mostly being admitted into federal prison at worst, or in several admissions in rehab centers providing rehab programs if they were lucky. In addition, a total number of Americans working part time and reported to use marijuana and other illicit drugs amounted to an estimate of 1. 9 M; yet they were not that dependent to the mentioned drugs. Moreover, study shows that illicit drug users are congruent with risk factors for sexually transmitted Disease (STD) specifically the HIV type (citation).


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