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HOW DRUG USERS ARE PORTRAYED IN THE MEDIA

Drug use is a worldwide concern; this is due to the continued increase of drug users globally.Canada is not an exception and faces challenges related to drug use. (Canada, 2015) Media generally has an influence on its audience. People tend to belief what they read and see in the media. This paper intends to look at how newspapers have portrayed drug use in Canada specifically, Toronto sun, Toronto star, Globe and mail and National post.

Teens are at a great risk of abusing drugs and addictions. For example According to a study reported by Toronto sun (Sun, 2012) 15% of the 10213 teens surveyed, have abused alcohol while 16% are abusing drugs by age 18.18% of adults could be classified as lifetime abusers of alcohol while 11% were drug abusers. The high number of individuals that are now abusing drugs as adults have come a long way with the addictions, they have grown up with them.

According to the Canadian newspapers, opioids are the most used drugs in Canada currently.

Fentanyl is an opioid, a type of painkiller which is majorly prescribed for cancer patients and those experiencing chronic pain. The increase in use for the drug has been contributed by the indiscriminate prescription by the doctors of this painkiller. (Perreaux, 2017)Habitual use of this painkiller has led to an addiction which has led to the users to resort to the black Market to meet their demand, which later has led to deaths. (Perreaux, 2017)

Most of the drugs that are now a cause of death for many were invented with the aim to treat and not to kill as  time passed they became the source of death for many. (Howlett, 2017)There is reason to believe that a large proportion of deaths and hospitalization are as a result of drugs effects and interactions. Problems arise out of lack of coordination between the pharmacists and the doctors. Pharmacists have been reported to prescribe drugs which would otherwise be considered inappropriate under specialist’s guidelines. (Blackwell, 2016)

The trend is now changing most of addiction cases result from doctor’s prescription. Doctors have now found themselves in an awkward position where they have to treat a patient to solve the problem caused by a drug that they had prescribed. (Mcknight, 2016)In 2015 for example doctors wrote 53 opioid prescriptions out of every 100 people in Canada.60% of health funds is spent to treat opioid addiction. (Mcknight, 2016) Doctors are encouraged to assess patient’s psychiatric status and risk for opioid addiction before prescribing opioid painkillers or other commonly abused drugs. Doctors should also make known to the patients the importance of relying on other methods to relieve pain other than medicine to reduce these cases.

According to these articles an emphasis should be put on controlling the use of the use prescription medicines because they are the deaths and addictions today.

The laws should be amended to adopt decriminalization approaches to drug abuse control.

China is the source of the majority of the illicit fentanyl. The access to this pain killer is said to be as easy as ordering a book online. Sellers are able to smuggle in the drug easily through using methods that avoid its detection.one of the methods used is through concealing the drug alongside urine test strips. This has gone undetected by the border guards because the guards cannot open packages weighing les than 30grams without the consent of the recipient. (Perreaux, 2017)

The fentanyl use is a crisis in Canada, that led to funeral parlors being advise do stock naloxone kits to reverse possible overdoses among mourners at services or staff who handle bodies of overdose victims. According to reports, the concern is mostly due to the mourners who attend the funerals and due to their vulnerable state may choose to overdose to cure the pain associated with their loss. The staff who abuse the drug may also find the drug on ta body which they are attending to. (Eagland, 2016)

Marijuana

Marijuana offenses represent two thirds of all drug offenses in Canada in the year 2015.even with this as the status the government was in the process of legalizing marijuana for people above 25 years. (post, 2017)

Safe place to inject will reduce the many deaths that are related to drug use. (Brait, 2017)Much of the deaths results from unsafe administration of drugs. There are already aa few established injection sites whose main purpose is to provide facilities for users to inject their own illegal drugs under medical supervision.

It has been alleged that decriminalization of drugs use would lead to fewer overdoses and deaths. (Bronskill, 2016)for example, in the Netherlands syringes and prescribed  heroine resulted to a reduction in petty crimes and a drop in number of dependent drug users. This article encourages of other policies to reducing drug addictions other than its criminalization. (Bronskill, 2016)

Most of the drugs that are now a cause of death for many were invented with the aim to treat and not to kill as as time passed they became the source of death for many.

Police in Canada have been alleged to treat blacks who arrested more harshly than the whites. This is even more evident with regards to black people who are charged with drug possession and abuse.it is common to see police officers charge and bring blacks in for questioning which not the case is for white offenders. Police have used racial lines in deciding guilt as far as drug use is concerned. (Shephard, 2002)

Conclusion

Teens and patients are considered the most drug users. Teens as young as 12 are already abusing drugs mostly alcohol, and by the time they reach 18 they have adopted use other drugs such as marijuana, tobacco, and other prescription and non-prescription drugs.

It’s interesting. Prescription drugs are now the source of concern for many in Canada, the main drug being opioids. Unlike a few years back where hard drugs were the most abused. Most of the reported addictions now result from prescription drugs. Fentanyl is one of the most abused opioid in Canada.

Law enforcers are still inclined to believe that drug abusers belong to a certain caliber however this is not the case. Trends have changed. For example physicians are now part of the drug dealers however sometimes committing these offenses unknowingly in the course of their duties. Their searches should not be limited to the hard drugs because prescription drugs are also cause for alarm.

There is a variance in the pictures portrayed by the papers reviewed with the statistics of the Canada drug use. (challenge, 2015)This is due to the limited number of sources viewed. Only 10 articles were reviewed and therefore not really enough to show the clear status

 

HOW DRUGS ARE POTRAYED IN THE NEWSPAPERS

TABLE 1: TYPES OF DRUGS USED

Total number of articles: 10                       Number of drugs 4

  1. Prescription drugs
  • Fentanyl                100%
  1. b) Non- prescription drugs
  • Marijuana    50%
  • Alcohol   50%
  • Tobacco 25%
  1. c) others 0%

 

TABLE 2: CHARACTERISTICS OF DRUG USERS

Total number of Articles: 10                                    number of drugs    4

Age                                               25%

Gender                                             0%

Sex                                                 0%

Occupation                                     0 %

 

References

Blackwell, T. (2016, october 11). National post. Retrieved from more is not always better: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/investigations/oxycontin/article33448409/

Brait, E. (2017, february 13). The star. Retrieved from drug users say supervied injection sites will adress ills of substance abuse: https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/01/13/drug-users-say-safe-injection-sites-address-ills-of-substance-abuse.html

Bronskill, J. (2016, November 14). The star. Retrieved from Drig decriminalisation would lead to fewer overdoses, and addictions: https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2016/11/14/drug-decriminalization-in-canada-would-result-in-health-benefits-internal-federal-study-says.html

Canada, T. c. (2015). Teen challenge. Retrieved from Canadian drug crisis: http://www.teenchallenge.ca/get-help/canadian-drug-crisis

challenge, T. (2015). Teen challenge. Retrieved from canadian drug crisis: http://www.teenchallenge.ca/get-help/canadian-drug-crisis

Eagland, N. (2016, December 14). National post. Retrieved from Fentanyl crisis: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/fentanyl-crisis-so-bad-in-b-c-that-funeral-homes-fear-mourners-could-overdose-during-services

Howlett, G. R. (2017, February 2017). The globe and mail. Retrieved from How a little known patent sparked canada’s opioid: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/investigations/oxycontin/article33448409/

Mcknight, P. (2016, August 27). The Globe mail. Retrieved from canada’s opioid crisis: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/investigations/oxycontin/article33448409/

Perreaux, K. H. (2017, March 13). The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from A killer high: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/investigations/a-killer-high-how-canada-got-addicted-tofentanyl/article29570025/

post, N. (2017). O cannabis. Retrieved from O cannabis.

Shephard, J. R. (2002, October 19). thestar.com. Retrieved from known to police: https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/knowntopolice/singled-out.html

Sun, T. (2012, March 3). Toronto Sun. Retrieved from Most Alcohol,drug abuse starts in teen years:study: http://www.torontosun.com/2012/04/03/most-alcohol-drug-abuse-starts-in-teen-years—-study

 

 

 


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