Unfortunately, there are very few people now who have not taken or been exposed to illegal drug usage. Drug usage has been popularised in youth media, and drugs themselves are widely available to whosoever should want them. In this article, we are going to tell you what the legal consequences of illegal drug use can be, as well as some information on drugs themselves. Drugs contribute to the worst elements of our society, and so, should not be taken lightly.
Here are six things that you need to know about illegal drugs and their legal consequences:
Facts about illegal drugs
Opioid overdoses are on the rise
Since 1999, nearly 1,000,000 people have died from drug overdoses in the United States. At this time, opioids – particularly synthetic opioids – are the main cause of drug overdoses in the United States. Over 70% of all opioid-associated overdoses involve synthetic opioids. In 2019 alone, over 49,000 deaths were attributed to opioids – which is approximately 70% of all drug overdoses.
Psychostimulant drug usage
In the US, psychostimulants, like methamphetamine, for example, are another leading cause of drug overdoses. The highest concentration of psychostimulant overdoses occurred in the American Northeast. Psychostimulant drug usage can destroy lives. Over time, these drugs wear away at your features and personality and leave you unrecognizable. They can cause you to lose touch with friends and family and can even kill you as has been shown again and again.
The Gateway Drug
For years, people have laughed at the suggestion that marijuana is a so-called gateway drug. A recent research study, however, has conclusively shown that marijuana usage often precedes the use of much harder drugs. Exposure to cannabis at an early age decreases the reactivity of your brain’s dopamine reward center in later life. A clear link has been drawn between a vulnerability to drugs in later life and the usage of marijuana in adolescence. In a way, THC ‘primes’ one’s brain for other drugs. Marijuana should never be used by minors in any circumstances.
Legal consequences of drugs
Conviction and imprisonment
Many states have very strict policies on juvenile drug use. New Jersey and California are two that come to mind. If your child is convicted of New Jersey juvenile drug offenses or Californian offenses, they could be facing a lengthy period of imprisonment. Convictions for hard drugs are much higher than ‘lesser’ drugs, though that is not to say that you cannot be sentenced to prison for a ‘lesser’ drug like marijuana. If imprisonment is avoided, there may still be a very heavy fine issued.
Consequences in later life
When you are convicted of a crime and sentenced to a period of imprisonment, the consequences that this can have upon your later life can be devastating. Ex-offenders are campaigning for laws to be changed in regard to their employment post-release, for as it stands at the moment, employers can turn down ex-offenders simply by virtue of their convictions, and routinely do. Getting a drug conviction at an early age is essentially clipping your wings before you have had the opportunity to fly.
Flying abroad and travelling
Many countries will not permit you entry if you have been convicted of drug offenses. The UK, US, and Japan are all examples of these strict rules. A drug conviction can ruin your chances of travelling the world. If you do attempt entry with a drug conviction and are caught, you can be fined, imprisoned in that country, and then forced to pay the cost of your return flight home. Flying abroad with drug convictions can be very difficult. There are some countries that will allow you entry, such as Thailand and parts of the Middle East, but on the whole, most will not.
Why take drugs?
Drug usage is unquestionably a bad idea. You have higher chances of dying young, unemployment, and imprisonment. There are really no good reasons for a person to take drugs, and very few benefits outside of temporary release from their emotions (which is the reason most do take drugs, mind you).
Popularisation in the media
Drugs have been popularised in the media and are advertised as being fashionable to teenagers. You just need to take a look at some of the lyrics of the songs that today’s children are listening to. One of the best ways to prevent children from taking drugs is to remove any influences that could advertise drugs to them from their lives. The opioid epidemic, for example, was highly popularised in urban music and was named as a contributing factor to teenage drug use.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.