Week 1 Paper

Past and Current Trends

Ann Bacon

Psy/425 Chemical Dependency in the Workplace

November 28, 2011
Leeann Young
University of Phoenix

Past and Current trends

    The overall picture of substance use and abuse is constantly changing. This is because of new laws and regulations, the development of new drugs, and older drugs that fell out of favor are again gaining popularity. The impact of substance abuse has become a major health problem in the United States as well as all over the world. Substance use and abuse has affected either indirectly or directly our communities and our families. This paper examines the past and current trends of substance use and abuse in the United States. It will also explain how illicit drugs may be considered culturally appropriate as well as health and social problems that occur because of substance use and abuse.
Past Trends
    The use of drugs has been around for thousands of years. The use of drugs could have been accidently discovered. People in the past probably took the drugs out of curiosity. Past trends of substance use involved religion, medicine, enjoyment, and pain. In early human civilization used substances as sacraments in religious ceremonies (Substance Abuse Headquarter, 2011). People use substances to produce visions and dull the pain from ritual mutilations. During the 19th century, medical advances were being made in isolating the active ingredients in psychoactive substances. Psychoactive substances were in widespread use.   At the end of the 19th century, the risks of substance dependency were beginning to be recognized. At the beginning of the 20th century, the concerns about the social effects lead to restrictive legislation regarding the use of substances. This concern also leads to a national prohibition of alcohol consumption (Levinthal, 2010). During the 20th century, the development of antibiotics and psychiatric drugs made important strides. Heroin, cocaine, and marijuana were...