Рефераты. Drug abuse: Tendencies and ways to overcome it

as well as crimes that are committed for the purpose of getting money to

purchase drugs are included as well.

These crimes should be viewed as part of the notion of drug abuse since

they are caused by the desires of drug users to boost drug-inspired

activities or their level of intoxication. The legal aspect of drug abuse

also includes those relationships regulated by law and arising from the non-

medical use of drugs.

Criminological Aspect of Drug Abuse:

The criminological aspect of drug abuse includes a part of this

phenomenon that poses an extreme danger to the public, i.e. is linked to

the above-cited crimes, their state, level, structure, dynamics, cause-and-

effect, criminal's personality, and prevention measures, among others.

Economic Aspect of Drug Abuse:

The economic aspect of drug abuse is associated with its affect on

economy, such as large sums of money in possession of drug dealers, a

decline in labor productivity of drug addicts; an increase in spending on

law-enforcement engaged in combating drug-related crimes; and a drain on

national budgets due to preventive and rehabilitation measures to combat

drug addiction. Experts claim, for example, that in the former USSR, the

cost of illegal drug trafficking within the "narco-business-shadow economy"

amounted to billions of troubles.

Biological Aspect of Drug Abuse:

The biological aspect of drug abuse is associated with the notion that

it is "a disease manifested by a constant and insurmountable craving for

drugs (morphine, for example) causing euphoria in small doses and stupor in

large ones. The regular use of drugs arouses a desire to increase the dose.

The abstinence syndrome usually accompanies withdrawal.

Narcotics damage the internal organs of drug takers, destroy their

nervous systems, their state of mind, and bring about their social


Since drug addiction is a disease, there is a need to find a cure for

it. Hence, the need to have qualified medical personnel, special drug

rehabilitation centers and branches offices, effective medicines and

curative methods.

Ecological Aspect of Drug Abuse:

The ecological aspect of narcotics is associated, on the one hand, with

the natural existence of drug-bearing plants, and on the other, with their

man-made cultivation. These plants are a source of obtaining and preparing

narcotic substances. From the ecological point of view there is a need,

first, to do away with the spread of wild drug-bearing plants, and second,

to ban their man-made cultivation. The economic, biological and ecological

aspects are subjects for research by experts.

Drug-related Crimes:

It is possible to define drug abuse as a negative social phenomenon

touching upon the social, legal, criminological, economic, biological and

ecological areas accordingly. One part of the phenomenon is drug addiction,

as a disease, and other, embraces all the law-breaking actions related to

drugs: those carried out to secure means for purchasing drugs or those

committed under the influence of drugs. Such law-breaking actions cover the

use, preparation, purchase, storage, transportation, parcel mail, sale and

theft of narcotic substances; attempts to force other people to use drugs

and the creation of conditions conducive to such use; attempts to sow and

grow drug-bearing plants; attempts to violate the established rules

regulating the production, purchase, storage, control, sale, transportation

or parcel mail of narcotic substances; and, drug smuggling. The law-

breaking actions also cover various mercenary crimes (violent crime) that

are not drug-related but are committed in order to buy drugs subsequently

(theft, robbery, plunder, fraud, blackmail and others) and also violent

crimes committed under the influence of drugs (e.g., hooliganism against

individuals). This notion reflects the essence and the confines of the drug

use and serves as a guideline for determining its scale and developing

strategies against it. Yet the true scale of this phenomenon is obscured by

a high degree of latent drug-induced diseases and law-breaking drug-related


Narcotics and Crime:

The above-listed law-breaking actions are crimes proving an

interrelation between drug abuse and crime. Drugs and crime are not only

closely interrelated, but actually blend fully, and in fact, becomes what

is known, as narco-crime. But to merely establish this fact is not enough.

The danger drug-related crimes pose to the public surpasses the danger

coming from other crimes. Drug-related crime is largely interrelated with

various other kinds of crime and even merges with one of its most dangerous

varieties such as organized crime. This becomes clear studying the dynamics

of drug-related crimes. Central here are the drug users who represent a

consumer of narcotics, and the ultimate target of drug trafficking - the

sale of drugs. When people become dependent on drugs they concentrate all

their efforts on getting drugs at any cost. They engage in criminal

activities ranging from the cultivation of drug-bearing plants and the

preparation of "stuff", to its sale.

Tendencies of Development:

The number of drug users grows in direct proportion to the rise in

crimes committed under the influence of narcotics and, in the long run, to

the profits earned by the drug dealers. Hence, drug dealers seek to 1)

expand the drug sales; 2) increase the output of drugs or receive more of

them from medical and pharmaceutical centers; and, 3) further promote

criminal activities connected to drugs. The latter seems to ensure the

realization of the former. A high degree of organization paves the way for

expanding drug sales, increasing the output and boosting drug trafficking.

Expanding Drug Sales:

The expansion of drug sales is achieved by persuading more people to

take drugs. Drug dealers set up drug pads and stores where narcotics are

available. They try to advertise them in indirect ways. They make sure that

more powerful drugs are continuously being developed.

In order to increase drug output drug-bearing plants are grown on

remote plantations in regions with difficult access. Illegal shops and

laboratories for developing new types of narcotics are set up there. Funds

for increasing drug output are raised by blackmailing or bribing public

officials. Drug-dealers practice violence, make threats against officials

and encourage theft of large amounts of drugs.

Boosting the Level of Organization of the Illegal Drug Trafficking

Business Methods to improve the level of organization include mergers of

criminal groups and associations, severe disciplinary measures within

criminal organizations, greater degree of cohesion among group members,

conspiratorial rules, and tougher actions against those who violate the

rules in such groups. Other methods are: increasing attempts to draw

government officials into criminal groups, taking control of persons

engaged in drug-related crimes on their own, centralizing finances and

monopolizing drug prices.

According to various studies there are quite a few syndicates and

cartels in the world that have divided drug trafficking regions among

themselves. Activities of these groups are guided by a clear-cut system of

criminal actions, such as promoting the sowing and cultivation of drug-

bearing plants, the production of narcotics, their wholesale purchase, and

the transportation and sales of drugs to consumers. Drug syndicates and

cartels, for whom drug trafficking is the main source of income, act under

the guise of legitimate companies, trying to come across as legal as

possible. They have airplanes, modern weapons and the newest technology in

their possession. Leaders of the criminal drug associations do their utmost

to oppose the actions of law enforcement agencies. With this purpose in

mind, they not only try to check police actions but make attempts,

successful at times, to infiltrate police ranks. Professional criminals

deploy defense measures that may prove to be so effective in challenging

the worthiness of surveillance of suspects and the bugging of their phones.

United into cartels and syndicates and organizationally divided into groups

and associations, drug- criminals are usually aware that they remain under

constant surveillance. To ensure their personal safety they resort, as a

rule, to various counter-surveillance measures, thus putting well-trained

police officers in a difficult position. Experience shows that criminal

groups usually keep the approaches to places where narcotics are turned

over under their own close watch.

Ways to Legalize Drug Profits:

Drug dealers seek not only to build up profits from drug trafficking

but to legalize them as well. To that end they engage in criminal

activities where by legal and illegal operations are inextricably

intertwined. The money earned from the trade in narcotics is invested into

legitimate businesses or in real estate. It may also be laundered in

financial transactions, such as, the purchase of shares and securities or

other newly invented and constantly perfected operations. The income thus

obtained allows drug dealers not only to pour more money into drug

trafficking or finance more drug-related crimes but also provides for a

legal coverage of drug trade, or for the participation in legal activities.

Speakers at the international seminar on combating organized crime in the

Russian city of Suzdal in 1992 held in accord with the resolution of the

45th session of the UN General Assembly, pointed out that "in the majority

of countries, organized crime developed along two directions: participating

in prohibited activities (property crimes, money laundering, illegal drug

trafficking, violation of hard currency transaction rules, intimidation,

prostitution, gambling, trade in weapons and antiques) and joining legal

business (directly or using such parasitical means as extortion. This

participation in legal economic activities is always bent for the use of

illegal competition methods and may have a greater economic impact compared

to the involvement in totally illegal kinds of activity). In short,

criminal methods are used in both cases leading to the situation in which

criminal elements form the majority of organized criminal formations.

Organized Narco-crime:

Typically, drug cartels and syndicates are highly organized. Present in

the organizations are: strict and precise distribution of functions; very

rigid hierarchies; internal discipline maintained by interest, authority

and force; stringent conspiracy; ramified networks of groups bound by firm

organizational ties; branches existing and functioning in various

countries; contacts with other criminal groups (counterfeiters, smugglers,

murderers etc.); the use of professional criminals; the

internationalization of group members; and, the use of violence to meet the

desired ends. To protect their huge profits and spheres of interest, the

subjects of narco-criminals stop at nothing and employ violent means, such

as the contract murders of their rivals and of law enforcement agents. The

money brought by the trade in drugs is often used to finance dangerous

crimes and acts of terrorism. It becomes a source, which finances

subversive activities of all kinds. Profits obtained from the drug trade

make it possible to finance large-scale armed operations against government

forces (like in Columbia or Mexico). Profit gained from the drug trade is

often compared with the profits earned by whole industries. The drug trade

is regarded as the world's second largest economy. All this enables drug

dealers not only to pay generously for the participation in crimes but also

to set up a common financial fund, a common bank, so to speak. Narco-money

is also used to exert influence on policy-making, particularly, by

nominating the associates of drug dealers to key posts in the economy and

politics or by bribing persons who already hold such posts and turning them

into supporters of the drugs trade. These financial investments are

reinforced by threats of violence against them or their close relatives

(wives, children or parents). This proves convincingly that narco-crime is

a well organized and well planned business incorporating the mutually inter-

related criminal activities of individuals, groups, associations,

syndicates and cartels with a division of mutually interrelated functions.

This is the reason to regard this kind of crime as a variety of organized

crime. Some researchers believe that drug profits are the economic

foundation of organized crime. This can be seen in comparison of elements

forming narco- and organized crimes. To get a clear understanding of the

elements of the latter it is necessary to look in retrospect at the history

of organized crime. While crime and drug addiction have been known to the

world for at least several centuries, the existence of organized crime has

been officially recognized quite recently, only in this century. Yet both

national and foreign researchers date the origin of this phenomenon, in one

way or another, to a much earlier period.

Various stable criminal organizations used to appear and operate on

territories of almost all modern states. Gangs of brigands and smugglers

were at work not only on land but also at sea (sea pirates). They had in

their possession caches of weapons, stocks of gold and food and, sometimes,

entire fleets of pirate boats furnished with everything necessary for an

attack and ready to go into combat with regular troops or ships. They

thereby challenged borders and laws. Already at that time members of such

gangs observed their own internal rules and traditions strictly, contrary

to the ones obligatory in society. Among them there was the principle of

mutual help, the recognition of the leaders' authority, the distribution of

duties and spoils, as well as a system of reward and punishment. Gangsters

knew exactly the kind of work they were responsible for and also knew their

zones of influence (slave trade, cattle stealing, smuggling arms,

narcotics, gold, diamonds, etc). They talked their own language and stuck

to other conspiratorial rules. Taking hostages and bribing officials were

their usual practices, very much like the actions of the present day

organized crime groups.

With the passing of time, of course, these organizations kept

transforming and modernizing, adjusting to changes of state borders,

governments and economies. They were turning more and more into organized

criminal associations that posed a serious threat to public safety, to the

supremacy of the law and to other state institutions. As researchers point

out, a particular danger of organized crime is that it becomes more and

more arrogant, aggressive, ingenious and diverse. In the 1980s, organized

crime became increasingly apparent throughout the world.

Forms of Organized Crime:

Along with traditional forms of organized crime, new forms, more

diverse and greater in scale, have appeared, such as the theft and re-sale

of luxury cars, electronic equipment, historical and cultural art objects,

antiques, icons and church plate. Other forms include the illegal trade in

human being, weapons and ammunition, strategic raw materials, non-ferrous

and rare metals, drugs counterfeiting, theft and forgery of credit cards,

gambling, and infiltration of legal business and world finance. An analysis

of documents issued by the UN Information Center proves that the influence

of various forms of organized crime spreads far beyond national borders and

"transnationalize crime", so to speak. This creates a situation which

"differs, both qualitatively and quantitatively, from the situation in the

past and hampers the accomplishment of effective measures aiming to prevent

and eliminate crime. Experts believe that the evolution of organized crime

should be seen as "a process providing for a rational reorganization on the

international basis of criminal enterprises using the same patterns just as

it is the case for legal enterprises." This process reflects tendencies for

forming a more intricate organizational structure typical of the modern

society in all countries. This explains why the UN Secretary General

pointed out in his speech at the 47th General Assembly session on September

28, 1992, that it was imperative to promote international cooperation and

develop practical steps against organized crime in view of its negative

impact on various areas of society's social, political and economic life.

Though extremely topical, problems of organized crime have not yet been

resolved properly by juridical theory and practice. Suffice it to say that

there are still some countries where no laws on organized crime have yet

been passed. There is no uniform approach to the concept of organized crime

at the legislative level. The attributes and signs of this phenomenon have

not yet been finalized. No attempts have yet been made to develop a

comprehensive program of action against it. There are few statistics or

official data on organized crime as a whole.

For example, in the former USSR the first official mention of organized

crime made at the government level was on December 2, 1989, when the

decision to step up the effort against organized crime was passed by the

2nd Congress of People's Deputies. However, no laws regarding organized

crime have been adopted. This could not help but leave its imprint on the

practical activities of law enforcement agencies in the former Union

republics. There was no solid theoretical discussion of the concept of

organized crime, as the scarce publications of the last few years could

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