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Juvenile Drug Crimes And Conviction

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There has been an increase over the years where our juveniles have experienced the use of narcotic drugs. Sometimes it is a one-time use, or they can become addicted. Furthermore, drugs and violence both has an effect on our juveniles and causes them to demonstrate criminal behavior. Secondly, juveniles have varied of ways to get access to illicit substances. Most of the time at school or though their peers. Some juveniles have access to substances in their own home such as, anti-depressants, pain narcotics, anxiety medications, and nerve pills.

For one thing, if you have older adult in the home that has used illicit drugs and been arrested for criminal offences because of drugs, this could be a factor and can validate this behavior is a norm. “Individuals who grew up in home environments where drug abuse was accepted as a means to deal with negative emotions are more desensitized to the use of drugs. They may learn that drug abuse is a proper way of handling negative life events,”(options behavioral health system).

Some people seem to believe illicit drugs are newly created and our juvenile are just now being exposed to them in today’s society. However, substances for example, mushrooms, “known as the “magic mushroom” they have been found in North Africa murals dated anywhere from 9000 to 7000 BC. Eating magic mushrooms is known to cause nausea and hallucinations, which were warmly embraced by ancient users as they believed it offered them access to higher levels of intelligence,”(ancient origins). Another popular drug today is “Opium is undoubtedly the most widely used drug in ancient history. The history of opium is long and complex, but scholars believe it was first cultivated by Sumerians in 3400 BC.

This latex contains morphine which is the active ingredient in the drug. The drug is processed into derivatives like heroin today,”(ancient origins). Moreover, in the late 19th and earlier 20th century doctors were able to prescribe patients drugs like cocaine and opium, the federal government did not have a policy to regulate dispersion medication. “During this time, the federal government did not have any agencies that regulated medical and pharmaceutical practice, and doctors freely prescribed cocaine and morphine as treatment for pain. By the end of the 19th century, abuse of these drugs was a significant social issue, and public concern was growing” (‘Drug Enforcement in the United States: History, Policy …’, 10/14).

These are just some of the popular drugs that juvenile have access to nowadays. I had seen in today’s society vaping has risen to be one of juvenile choices. Some juvenile has even purchased drugs over dark websites, which can be very dangerous, and these drugs can be sold to anyone worldwide. These sold illicit drugs over the dark web, can be fake, lethal, laced with a mixer of different chemicals. “The “Darknet” refers to encrypted online content that is not indexed by conventional search engines. Also known as the ‘darknet,’ the dark web is a component of the deep web that describes the wider breadth of content that does not appear through regular internet browsing activities. The dark web has become an online marketplace for illegal goods. The dark web attracts users who seek anonymity when conducting business,”(Investopedia).

All too often, we witness our juveniles making wrong decision or want to follow the leader in a world of drugs, alcohol and deviant behavior. It is well known that using drugs of this nature as an adolescence could affect their development, cause health issues, moreover, cause long-term mental illness and cause erratic behavior. Speaking on the drugs that can cause long-term addictions and illness, for example are alcohol which have a negative effect on your overall judgement. Using alcohol short-term can alter your speech, coordination, moods, and metabolize.

As a matter of fact, long-term drinking can cause liver disease, inflammation to the liver, which is caused hepatitis, to fetal scarring caused cirrhosis. Moreover, over-time you can have high blood pressure and even a heart attack. It has been a fact that alcoholism has cause many fatalities and jail time. “Though 2019 isn’t quite over, already this year 23 drivers in Houston and Harris County have been charged by police with intoxication manslaughter for causing deaths due to driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. And all but one of them have been arrested. DWI is a Class A misdemeanor, bringing punishments of 30 days to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. But under Texas drunk driving laws, causing a death due to drunk driving (also known as “intoxication manslaughter”) can lead to more serious punishments of 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Last year, 121 people died in alcohol-related crashes in Harris County, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. These included drivers, passengers and pedestrians. (‘Harris County, Texas Intoxication Manslaughter Arrests in 2019’). One of the starters drugs that juvenile experiment with is marijuana, some people says they juvenile began smoking marijuana then become open for drugs that will get them higher. However, it has been a large debate on the effect that marijuana can cause our juveniles, some would say it helps with illness, also increase appetite when you cannot eat from having an illness such as cancer patients. However, WebMD states “ Although some say marijuana is just as safe as, or even safer than alcohol, others argue that pot causes a lot more harm than just a serious buzz. Ongoing marijuana use has been linked to lung changes, memory loss, and a number of other health problems.

For instance, trouble thinking and remembering, bloodshot eyes and dry mouth, fast heartbeat and slow coordination,”(WebMD). Nevertheless, it is still illegal in some states, “adult possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $2,000. Possession of between 2 and 4 ounces of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to 1 year and a fine not to exceed $4,000. Possession of between 4 ounces and 5 pounds of marijuana is a felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 180 days imprisonment, a maximum of 2 years imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Anytime a juvenile is charged with a drug possession violation, that juvenile faces some potentially serious consequences. However, the juvenile justice process is very different than the criminal justice process. Even though the crime of drug possession is the same for juveniles and adults, the way the courts handle a juvenile case is very different. Juvenile courts have a much wider range of options when dealing with a juvenile offender than they would if the offender had been an adult” (‘Juvenile Drug Possession Drug Penalties’, 2020).

On the other hand, lets discuss heroin, this is one of the most addictive drugs. Although, heroin does not have a certain formative reason why people get addicted, heroin still can cause long-term health issues. “The effects of heroin abuse will differ from person to person, depending upon the length of abuse, amount of heroin used, the presence of other substances, and individual makeup. Severity of symptoms tend to get worse the longer the drug is abused. The most common effects of heroin addiction may include liver disease, HIV or hepatitis b and c, kidney disease, risks of contracting chronic illnesses, seizures, and death,”(option behavioral health system).

A drug similar to heroin and are very addictive is crystal meth. In today’s society we are seeing more of our juveniles being hooked on crystal meth. “It comes in clear crystal chunks or shiny blue-white rocks. Also called “ice” or “glass,” it’s a popular party drug. Usually, users smoke crystal meth with a small glass pipe, but they may also swallow it, snort it, or inject it into a vein. People say they have a quick rush of euphoria shortly after using it. But it’s dangerous. It can damage your body and cause severe psychological problems. Meth can make a user’s body temperature rise so high he could pass out or even die.

A user may feel anxious and confused, be unable to sleep, have mood swings, and become violent. Looks can change dramatically. A user may age quickly. His skin may dull, and he can develop hard-to-heal sores and pimples. He may have a dry mouth and stained, broken, or rotting teeth. He may become paranoid. He may hear and see things that aren’t there. He may think about hurting himself or others. He may also feel as though insects are crawling on or under his skin. A meth user is at higher risk for HIV/AIDS.

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The drug can affect judgment and lessen inhibitions. Someone under the influence of the drug may be more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as unsafe sex. Psychotic behavior, such as paranoia and hallucinations,”(WebMD). This causing frantic in law enforcement because of the endurance not to take someone’s life behind controllable behavior. On Monday January 20, 2020 a juvenile 14 years of age was arrested at Jamul, Calif U.S borders who had large packages taped to his body of crystal meth that weighted over 3 pounds. The driver who was 34 years old and three juveniles was arrested in that incident (‘ U.S Custom and Border Patrol’, 2020). In my 10 years of experience arresting juvenile, most of the time they would be caught with Ecstasy.

Some juveniles use the drug called ecstasy to make themselves feel self-assurance, refurbish their energy levels, moreover, for sexual pleasure and they believe, they are the world’s greatest creation, and nothing can be against them. “Ecstasy is responsible for many deaths and thousands of hospitals visits each year, proving it is not as harmless as dealers would like users to believe. In part because “ecstasy is often taken at raves or night clubs, the user runs a high risk of becoming dehydrated or overheating, eventually causing their organs to stop functioning if left untreated. In some cases, undiagnosed heart defects can be aggravated by the effects of the drug, causing heart failure.

In some individuals, users become aggressive and struggle with insomnia, significant decrease in appetite, memory loss and difficulty concentrating. Repeated use of Ecstasy interferes with the normal brain chemistry, resulting in severe mood-swings as well. psychosis, nerve degeneration, depression, anxiety and memory loss, kidney failure, hemorrhaging, long-lasting brain damage and death,”(addiction center). In some cases, they start feeling these symptoms while using this drug. Regarding to, inhalants this type of drug are mostly use by juveniles in gangs. “To understand inhalant use among adolescents aged 12 to 17, it is useful to examine the prevalence of inhalant use among adolescents compared with other age groups. In 2015, approximately 1.8 million people aged 12 or older used inhalants in the past year to get high. This number represents 0.7 percent of the population aged 12 or older, Female adolescents were more likely than male adolescents to have used inhalants in the past month ”(SAMHSA).

The street names for some inhalants are, air blast, chroming, hippie crack, and moon gas. These chemicals are very deadly when inhaled into the body. Inhaling large amounts of aerosol which is toxic can even cause death. “ Inhalants are various products easily bought and found in the home or workplace—such as spray paints, markers, glues, and cleaning fluids. Inhalants are mostly used by young kids and teens and are the only class of substance used more by younger than by older teens.

“Inhalants are highly accessible, cheap, and easy to hide; they are also addictive and deadly. Inhalants are particularly appealing to adolescents for many reasons; they are legal, low cost, and easy to acquire. In addition, inhalants can give users a fast but short-term high, which makes it easy for adolescents to use inhalants and conceal their use. Using inhalants is also associated with many negative outcomes. Adolescents who engage in inhalant use are at an increased risk of delinquency, depression, suicidal thoughts, and drug and alcohol use,” (SAMHSA). Most inhalants affect the central nervous system and slow down brain activity. Short-term effects are similar to alcohol, once again it can alter your judgement, metabolize, and coordination. “Long-term effects of inhalant use may include liver and kidney damage, hearing loss, bone marrow damage, loss of coordination and limb spasms (from nerve damage), delayed behavioral development (from brain problems), brain damage (from cut-off oxygen flow to the brain),” (NIDA).

In spite of all the mind-altering drugs prescription drugs are one of the highest drugs to be misused. “Abuse of prescription drugs can cause life-threatening consequences, including death from overdose, particularly when combined with other drugs or alcohol. Prescription drug abuse also appears to be associated with a greater likelihood of risky behaviors in teens, including other substance abuse,”(NCBI). These prescription drugs are widely affecting our youth. “Two-thirds of teens who misused pain relievers in the past year say that they got them from family and friends, including their home’s medicine cabinets,”(SAMHSA). Many teens are aware that parents of family have some type of prescriptions at home. These teens know prescription drugs are easy to hide on themselves. Juveniles will sneak, and steal prescriptions drugs then share them with friends.

The juvenile is probably not aware that once they remove the prescription drug and disburse them amongst peers they are actually committing a crime. “If your child shares drugs with a friend, regardless of how the drugs were obtain, they can be charged as a drug dealer, even if they just giving the drugs away for free. What’s more, if an accidental overdose occurs as a result, homicide charges can be brought against the teen who distributed the drug. Teenagers no longer have to be selling drugs to be charged and held responsible,”(psychology today).

Some juveniles use drugs then began to commit crimes ranging from status offences to property offences to drug offences. Juvenile law procedures go back many of years, if the juvenile knew right from wrong he/she was punishment accordingly. Most juvenile court considered remedy and handling for the juvenile and the proceedings were more civil then criminal. In today’s society the courts hold juvenile accountable for their actions. “Holding a juvenile offender “accountable” in the juvenile justice system means that once the juvenile is determined to have committed law-violating behavior, by admission or adjudication, he or she is held responsible for the act though consequences or sanctions, imposed pursuant to law, (‘Holding Juvenile Offenders Accountable’, 1999).

However, juveniles are surprised after they are charged although they have stated the prescription drug belongs to a family member. The most prescription drug that are prescribed to an individual is stimulants, opioids and depressants. Some people believe that taking a prescription is not as dangerous, but it does have its negative side effects. Actually, when you are abusing them. “Stimulants have side effects in common with cocaine, and may include paranoia, dangerously high body temperatures, and an irregular heartbeat, especially if stimulants are taken in large doses or in ways other than swallowing a pill. Opioids, which act on the same parts of the brain as heroin, can cause drowsiness, nausea, constipation, and, depending on the amount taken, slowed breathing. Depressants can cause slurred speech, shallow breathing, fatigue, disorientation, lack of coordination, and seizures upon withdrawal from chronic use,”(SAMHSA).

In some instance, the juvenile start selling the prescription for financial gain or to support they habits and addictions. For another thing, teens use drugs to fit in with the ones who already participating in reckless behavior. Also, speaking on female they will use drugs for weight loss to attract guys, because they feel that they need a body similar to models or celebrities.

Furthermore, they will use drug for a thrill just to get high. Some juvenile would say they wants to experience all that life has to offer and it is not that serious. Some people would say juvenile use drugs because they are bored but really they need to stay busy with extra-curricular activities. However, we as a community that needs to know the signs when we think our juveniles are partaking in drugs. Most Importantly, it has always been a war on drugs. For instance, “ The Smoking Opium Exclusion Act in 1909 banned the possession, importation and use of opium for smoking. However, opium could still be used as a medication. This was the first federal law to ban the non-medical use of a substance,”(war on drugs).

Furthermore, states are fighting to stop the drugs being expose to our juvenile, on the other hand legislators are passing laws to legalize cannabis. In 2019, “ ten states have now legalized cannabis for adults, while 33 allow medical use,”(forbes.com). With this, juveniles will still find a way to get access to the starter drug marijuana from parents of family. This has a great impact on families financially and emotionally for instance, they cannot trust the individual because they will steal to support their habit, they are afraid of their irrational behavior, they go indebt trying to pay cost for the juvenile treatments, even cause health problems for the parents or guardian behind stress. Moreover, the cost of health care and medical bills goes up, because they are at a higher risk for an illness. Furthermore, “the economic consequences of drug abuse severely burden federal, state, and local government resources and ultimately the taxpayers,”(justice.gov).

Nevertheless, legislators are debating on how to ban certain drugs that has been here for centuries, but the likelihood of drugs existing in the future and addiction is inevitable.

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Juvenile Drug Crimes And Conviction. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/juvenile-drug-crimes-and-conviction/
“Juvenile Drug Crimes And Conviction.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/juvenile-drug-crimes-and-conviction/
Juvenile Drug Crimes And Conviction. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/juvenile-drug-crimes-and-conviction/> [Accessed 31 Jan. 2023].
Juvenile Drug Crimes And Conviction [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2023 Jan 31]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/juvenile-drug-crimes-and-conviction/
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