Not all drugs are used recreationally to ‘mellow out’ and stimulants are the number one go to for people who want to party longer. With cocaine as the number one target, and its crack form being one of the most offensive substances in the eye of the war on drugs campaign, millions of users have been detained, beaten, jailed and killed in the name of prevention. However, its classier brother, the one we see in so many films and TV shows as the go to drug for high flyers and even role models didn’t seem to get stamped down on half as much. Known infamously to be at every Hollywood party, and with countless child actors growing up with cocaine dependency, one wonders how the movie industry itself wasn’t put on trial by the initiative. Back in the impoverished streets of crowded urban neighbourhoods however, cocaine is far less glamorous. Chicken heads as addicts are referred to have an insatiable hunger for the drug which causes skin problems, respiratory issues and damage to the lips and mouth which includes blackening and loss of teeth.

Despite interest in crack decreasing over the years, interest in cocaine has increased since the age of the internet. What is more unsettling is that again many people who are looking for the effects of these illegal drugs are finding them elsewhere. Legal stimulants such as Adderall, which is part of the amphetamine family are again providing more legitimate avenues for abusers. This drug is commonly found on college campuses and abused by students looking to stay awake all night. This seemingly justified reasoning however can lead to addiction and become a gateway into higher doses and harder drugs. The crack epidemic of the 80’s is now being replaced by use of methamphetamines, where users show increased ‘zombie-like’ symptoms and become somewhat feral after extended use.

The War Today

It’s been a long time since the war on drugs began, with an entire generation living through the new world that it created, are we any better after its inception?

Firstly, so many lives have been lost in its name, whether that is the abusers being put down with lethal force, or law enforcement taking hits from arms carrying drug dealers, or even more alarmingly the actual wars waged whereby the acquisition of things like poppy fields become collateral assets. As far as money goes, it is also a sinking ship, despite the developments such as Narcan, and higher checks and procedures for trafficking the drugs are still in circulation, some argue more than ever, meanwhile taxpayer money goes towards checkpoints, officers, sniffer dogs and more to little avail. However, the money made by pharmaceutical companies reaches new highs each year, despite many of them pedaling compounds indistinguishable from those banned. As far as the general mindset has been affected, more and more people are advocating legalization and the argument that in fact allowing a free flow of these substances would actually lessen criminal activity has always been valid. Pulling back the curtain, drugs are about profit as any cartel or company shows, but with the unimaginable number of citizens dead or in jail, it is time to stop putting cash above lives. The laws are in need of drastic reform but until that day comes the war on drugs continues, in a battle that is so long, deadly and esoteric that its unclear whether anyone will conclude victorious.