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Evaluate the employment of psychoactive drugs from the aspects of a risk-benefits analysis and ethical considerations such as the risk of addiction versus the cost of punitive action.

In your discussion, evaluate the employment of psychoactive drugs from the aspects of a risk-benefits analysis and ethical considerations such as the risk of addiction versus the cost of punitive action.

Cocaine is a stimulant. “One disturbing symptom of cocaine-induced psychosis may be the sensation of bugs crawling around under the skin, a phenomenon called formication, from the Latin word formica, meaning “ant.” (Advokat, Comaty, & Julien, 2014, p. 209). Through the sharing of needles, heroin use by injection is the main vector for transmission of infectious agents such as HIV and hepatitis B and C virus in many countries. Second, there are the acute or short-term biological health effects of the substance. Notably, for drugs such as opioids and alcohol, these include overdose. “Because the psychostimulants activate the sympathetic nervous system, they produce the characteristic physiological effects of an increased heart rate, blood pressure, vasodilation, and bronchodilation,” (Advokat, Comaty, & Julien, 2014, p. 209).

Along with the use of heroin, cocaine has its many risk factors as well. Cocaine addiction is associated with the possibility of overdose, potential death, HIV, hepatitis B or C, mood disorders, heart disease, unhealthy weight, cognitive defects, and organ failure. “Methamphetamine users are at risk for various types of cardiac toxicity, such as strokes, heart attack, and tears of the aorta,” (Advokat, Comaty, & Julien, 2014, p. 218). Before a patient is offered a psychotropic medication, thorough diagnostic evaluation and careful review of the patient’s history (including past symptoms and response to treatment) are essential.

“The ethical practitioner needs to keep up-to-date with empirical findings on all somatic and psychosocial treatments, including their indications, adverse effects, and contraindications. Informed consent is the legal and ethical foundation of ethical health care. The therapeutic relationship is deeply respectful of the patient and places primacy on promoting health and alleviating suffering as the basis for any treatment recommendation. It is dedicated to beneficence and nonmaleficence (ie, seeking good and avoiding harm in the patient’s care),” (Hoop, Layde, & Roberts, 2009). It is very important to psychologists, and other doctors follow the ethical guidelines when treating patients to avoid potential punitive damages such as malpractice lawsuits.

Also explain purely pharmacological issues such as pharmacokinetics and routes of drug administration and dose.

“Cocaine is absorbed from all sites of application, including mucous membranes, the stomach, and the lungs. Cocaine hydrochloride crosses the mucosal membranes poorly because the drug is a potent vasoconstrictor (one of its defining pharmacological actions), constricting blood vessels and limiting its own absorption. Cocaine penetrates the brain rapidly; initial brain concentrations far exceed the concentrations in plasma. After it penetrates the brain, cocaine is rapidly redistributed to other tissues,” (Advokat, Comaty, & Julien, 2014, p. 205). The blood level then progressively declines. “The biological half-life of MA is more than 11 hours. After distribution to the brain, about 60 percent of the methamphetamine is slowly metabolized in the liver, and the end products are excreted through the kidneys, along with unmetabolized MA (about 40 percent is excreted unchanged) and small amounts of its pharmacologically active metabolite, amphetamine,” (Advokat, Comaty, & Julien, 2014, p. 217).

If needed, include factors such as supply, cultural attitudes to drug use, and the context of drug use.

I think culture plays a significant role in drug use. Culture is transmitted through the family. The way this worldview is taught in any particular family is unique because it is also influenced by the dynamics that shaped our parent’s in their childhood. Children usually imitate what they see, and if drug abuse is a norm in their family, most likely that child will become a drug abuser. Drug abuse not only can come from the home, but it can also come from social context and surroundings that includes the physical and social settings. Drug abuse can be imitated by friends and family.


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