Drug Use and the Law

Michael Centore

S E R I E S C O N S U L TA N T SARA BECKER, Ph.D. Brown University School of Public Health/Warren Alpert Medical School

Drug Use and the Law D R U G A D D I C T I O N A N D R E C O V E R Y


Alcohol and Tobacco

Causes of Drug Use

Drug Use and Mental Health

Drug Use and the Family

Drug Use and the Law

Hallucinogens: Ecstasy, LSD, and Ketamine

Intervention and Recovery

Marijuana and Synthetics

Opioids: Heroin, OxyContin, and Painkillers

Over-the-Counter Drugs

Performance-Enhancing Drugs: Steroids, Hormones, and Supplements

Prescription Drugs

Stimulants: Meth, Cocaine, and Amphetamines


Drug Use and the Law

Michael Centore

S E R I E S C O N S U L TA N T SARA BECKER, Ph.D. Brown University School of Public Health Warren Alpert Medical School


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© 2017 by Mason Crest, an imprint of National Highlights, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from the publisher.

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Designer: Annemarie Redmond Copyeditor: Peter Jaskowiak Editorial Assistant: Andrea St. Aubin Series ISBN: 978-1-4222-3598-0 Hardback ISBN: 978-1-4222-3602-4 E-Book ISBN: 978-1-4222-8246-5

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Centore, Michael, 1980– author. Title: Drugs and the law / by Michael Centore. Description: Broomall, PA : Mason Crest, 2017. | Series: Drug addiction and    recovery | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2016003949| ISBN 9781422236024 (hardback) | ISBN    9781422235980 (series) | ISBN 9781422282465 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Drugs—Law and legislation—United States—Juvenile literature. | Drugs

of abuse—Law and legislation—United States—Juvenile literature. Classification: LCC KF3885 .C46 2017 | DDC 344.7303/229—dc23 LC record available at http://lccn.loc.gov/2016003949

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Series Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Chapter One: Drug Legislation . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Chapter Two: Drug Law and Enforcement . . . . . . . . . . 21 Chapter Three: From Arrest to Sentencing . . . . . . . . . 29 Chapter Four: Penalties, Punishments, and Treatments . . . . . 39 Chapter Five: Drugs and International Law . . . . . . . . . 49 Further Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Educational Videos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 Series Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 About the Advisor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Photo Credits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Sidebars: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. Research Projects: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis. Text-Dependent Questions: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. Educational Videos: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, providing them with additional educational content to supplement the text. Examples include news coverage, moments in history, speeches, iconic sports moments and much more! Series Glossary of Key Terms: This back-of-the-book glossary contains terminology used throughout the series. Words found here increase the reader’s ability to read and comprehend higher-level books and articles in this field. Words to Understand: These words with their easy-to-understand definitions will increase the reader’s understanding of the text, while building vocabulary skills.

Key Icons to Look for:


Many adolescents in the United States will experiment with alcohol or other drugs by time they finish high school. According to a 2014 study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 27 percent of 8th graders have tried alcohol, 20 percent have tried drugs, and 13 percent have tried cigarettes. By 12th grade, these rates more than double: 66 percent of 12th graders have tried alcohol, 50 percent have tried drugs, and 35 percent have tried cigarettes. Adolescents who use substances experience an increased risk of a wide range of negative consequences, including physical injury, family conflict, school truancy, legal problems, and sexually transmitted diseases. Higher rates of substance use are also associated with the leading causes of death in this age group: accidents, suicide, and violent crime. Relative to adults, adolescents who experiment with alcohol or other drugs progress more quickly to a full-blown substance use disorder and have more co-occurring mental health problems. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimated that in 2015 about 1.3 million adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 (5 percent of adolescents in the United States) met the medical criteria for a substance use disorder. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these IF YOU NEED HELP NOW . . . SAMHSA’s National Helpline provides referrals for mental-health or substance-use counseling. 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov SAMHSA’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides crisis counseling by phone or online, 24-hours-a-day and 7 days a week. 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org


When pro- and anti-drug information sit side-by-side online, it can be hard for kids to separate fact from fiction.

adolescents did not receive treatment. Less than 10 percent of those with a diagnosis received specialty care, leaving 1.2 million adolescents with an unmet need for treatment. The NSDUH asked the 1.2 million adolescents with untreated substance use disorders why they didn’t receive specialty care. Over 95 percent said that they didn’t think they needed it. The other 5 percent reported challenges finding quality treatment that was covered by their insurance. Very few treatment providers and agencies offer substance use treatment designed to meet the specific needs of adolescents. Meanwhile, numerous insurance plans have “opted out” of providing coverage for addiction treatment, while others have placed restrictions on what is covered. Stigma about substance use is another serious problem. We don’t call a person with an eating disorder a “food abuser,” but we use terms like “drug abuser” to describe individuals with substance use disorders. Even treatment providers often unintentionally use judgmental words, such as describing urine screen results as either “clean” or “dirty.” Underlying this language is the idea that a substance use disorder is some kind of moral failing or character flaw, and that people with these disorders deserve blame or punishment for their struggles.


And punish we do. A 2010 report by CASA Columbia found that in the United States, 65 percent of the 2.3 million people in prisons and jails met medical criteria for a substance use disorder, while another 20 percent had histories of substance use disorders, committed their crimes while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or committed a substance-related crime. Many of these inmates spend decades in prison, but only 11 percent of them receive any treatment during their incarceration. Our society invests significantly more money in punishing individuals with substance use disorders than we do in treating them. At a basic level, the ways our society approaches drugs and alcohol— declaring a “war on drugs,” for example, or telling kids to “Just Say No!”— reflect a misunderstanding about the nature of addiction. The reality is that addiction is a disease that affects all types of people—parents and children, rich and poor, young and old. Substance use disorders stem from a complex interplay of genes, biology, and the environment, much like most physical and mental illnesses. The way we talk about recovery, using phrases like “kick the habit” or “breaking free,” also misses the mark. Substance use disorders are chronic, insidious, and debilitating illnesses. Fortunately, there are a number of effective treatments for substance use disorders. For many patients, however, the road is long and hard. Individuals recovering from substance use disorders can experience horrible withdrawal symptoms, and many will continue to struggle with cravings for alcohol or drugs. It can be a daily struggle to cope with these cravings and stay abstinent. A popular saying at Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings is “one day at a time,” because every day of recovery should be respected and celebrated. There are a lot of incorrect stereotypes about individuals with substance use disorders, and there is a lot of false information about the substances, too. If you do an Internet search on the term “marijuana,” for instance, two top hits are a web page by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and a page operated by Weedmaps, a medical and recreational


marijuana dispensary. One of these pages publishes scientific information and one publishes pro-marijuana articles. Both pages have a high-quality, professional appearance. If you had never heard of either organization, it would be hard to know which to trust. It can be really difficult for the average person, much less the average teenager, to navigate these waters. The topics covered in this series were specifically selected to be relevant to teenagers. About half of the volumes cover the types of drugs that they are most likely to hear about or to come in contact with. The other half cover important issues related to alcohol and other drug use (which we refer to as “drug use” in the titles for simplicity). These books cover topics such as the causes of drug use, the influence of drug use on the family, drug use and the legal system, drug use and mental health, and treatment options. Many teens will either have personal experience with these issues or will know someone who does. This series was written to help young people get the facts about common drugs, substance use disorders, substance-related problems, and recovery. Accurate information can help adolescents to make better decisions. Students who are educated can help each other to better understand the risks and consequences of drug use. Facts also go a long way to reducing the stigma associated with substance use. We tend to fear or avoid things that we don’t understand. Knowing the facts can make it easier to support each other. For students who know someone struggling with a substance use disorder, these books can also help them know what to expect. If they are worried about someone, or even about themselves, these books can help to provide some answers and a place to start.

—Sara J. Becker, Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Research), Center for Alcohol and Addictions Studies, Brown University School of Public Health, Assistant Professor (Research), Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University Medical School



cartel: a group of manufacturers or producers united for a common goal, such as reducing competition and setting prices. eradicate: to do away with; to destroy. prohibition: when something is forbidden by law. regulation: a rule. temperance: moderation in drinking, usually to the point of total abstinence. traffic: to illegally transport people, drugs, or weapons to sell throughout the world.



For centuries, political leaders have tried to protect people from the dangers of substance misuse. They may do this by taxing the substance so that it’s more expensive to purchase—cigarettes, for example, are taxed in many countries. Lawmakers might restrict access to the substance to specific group, such as doctors. Or they might ban the substance outright. Each of these kinds of control requires an act of legislation, or legal action. The United States has a unique history of drug legislation, from the unregulated marketplaces of early America to the strict laws of today.


Drug policy was slow to develop in early America, but drug use wasn’t. Europeans learned about tobacco from native people in both North and South America. Soon, tobacco was one of the most important products the colonies produced. Rum and beer were incredibly popular drinks in colonial



America, partly because milk and other beverages were difficult to get, and unfiltered water could be dangerous. The settlers not only drank alcohol in large amounts, but they also manufactured it to the point that it became colonial New England’s dominant industry. By the 19th century, America had expanded and its population had skyrocketed. Drinking was still very common, though some people were beginning to worry about its effects on health and society. Leaders such as Doctor Benjamin Rush and the minister Lyman Beecher spoke out against the evils of excessive drinking. Thirteen states passed anti-alcohol laws in the four-year span between 1851 and 1855, though many of these were repealed soon afterwards.

An anti-alcohol drawing from around 1830 by the temperance campaigner George Cruikshank.


Use of other drugs was also a big problem, and early substance-related legislation targeted these other drugs as well. For instance, the Drug Importation Act, passed by Congress in 1848, made sure that the U.S. Customs Service inspected all imported medical drugs to ensure they were not counterfeited, diluted, tampered with, or dangerous. Other state laws made it a crime to mislabel or contaminate prescription or over-the- counter medications.


In the aftermath of the American Civil War (1861–1865), the American people became aware of the dangers of opiates (drugs made from the opium poppy). Morphine was first developed in the early 19th century. It was used heavily throughout the Civil War to treat all sorts of ailments, from dysentery to malaria, and as a painkiller for soldiers undergoing surgery. At least 200,000 soldiers returned from the war dependent on morphine, bringing the harrowing effects of addiction home to small towns throughout the nation. Around this time, cocaine, heroin, and other drugs were used in over- the-counter products, often without any rules or regulations whatsoever. For example, the Bayer Company promoted heroin as a way to relieve coughs and induce sleep. Cocaine and heroin were also sold as ways of treating alcoholism. Even soft drinks like Coca-Cola, which were widely advertised as healthy “tonics,” contained cocaine. The science behind addiction was not yet understood, but people could clearly see the impacts. As the effects of substance misuse became more recognized, people began to demand that government address the problem. The first outright ban of drugs came in 1875, when the city of San Francisco outlawed the smoking of opium in opium dens. But the motive for the law had little to do with public health. Instead, it was an anti-immigrant


An opium den around 1900.

measure—smoking opium was a practice associated with Chinese men. The law did not target the sale, trade, or use of opiates in general. In 1890 the U.S. Congress followed up on this law by placing heavy taxes on opium and morphine. It was the first time the federal government got involved in anti-drug efforts, but it would not be the last. Sixteen years later, the Pure Food and Drug Act was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt. This landmark piece of legislation created the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a government body responsible for regulating all food and drug products. Products had to be clearly labeled and manufacturers had to be honest about their ingredients. The result was a much safer marketplace for both food and medicine.


In the early 1900s, the production, transport, and sale of alcoholic beverages was banned in the United States. This new law was called Prohibition. It was spelled out in the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified by Congress in 1919. A separate piece

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