Categories for Drugs

Billie Holiday & Misuse of Drugs Essay

Billie Holiday & Misuse of Drugs Essay

Billie Holiday was born Eleanora Fagan, on April 7, 1915 to a thirteen year old mother and a fifteen year old jazz guitarist, father. After a difficult early childhood, which included scrubbing floors at a brothel and singing in night clubs to make ends meet she was ‘discovered’ by the record producer John Hammond in around 1932. In 1933 she made her first recording of a song called ‘Your Mother’s Son-In-Law’ and her career took off. Billie started leisurely use of marijuana as very early in her life, by some accounts when she was twelve years old.

However it was the eventual use of heroin, which she was introduced to by the men in her life, which actually destroyed her (Clarke, 2000). She married trombonist Jimmy Monroe on August 25, 1941 and while married to him became romantically involved with trumpeter Joe Guy and became his common law wife. Joe Guy introduced Billie to drugs and was her dealer. It was during the forties that Billy had made some of her most well known recordings.

This however was also the time period that her dependence on drugs grew.

She started using heroin intravenously during the early forties. It is a well known fact that heroin gives the user a short-lived elation, which is succeeded by drowsiness. Long term effects of heroin are slowing of the heart rate, breathing and activity of the brain. It is also accredited with depressing appetite, thirst and the reflexes. When the effects of the drug begin to wear off, usually four to eight hours after the last dose, withdrawal symtoms set in. These include chills, sweating, runny nose, irritability, insomnia, tremors, and body pain.

There comes a point when the user does not take the drug for pleasure but to relieave the pain that sets in as the effects of the drug start to wear off. Unfortunately, at the peek of her career, Billy was not only using heroin but cocaine and opium as well and in addition to alcohol and cigarettes. Her unchecked drug use and chronic depression brought her careen to a sudden halt. In 1947 Holiday was arrested for possession of illegal drugs and volunteered to be placed in drug-rehabilitation center for eight months.

In order to revive her career after her release, her manager booked her at Carnegie Hall where she performed in front of a packed hall. However, this was a turning point in her career, as she could not get her cabaret license reinstated. Thus she was not permitted to perform in establishments that served alcohol (Dufty, 1956). With the passage of time, the excessive use of drugs and alcohol had a profound effect on her voice and her health in general, to the point that she had a difficult time making a living performing.

In 1954 She toured Europe and performed at the Royal Albert Hall, but by this time her performances had weakened. Miles Davis remembered the last time he saw her was in 1959, when he was performing in Birdland and Holiday came to visit and ask for money to buy heroin. Miles claims he gave her about a hundred dollars (Davis, 1990). Billy Holiday’s last public performance was in 1959. She was forty four years old, and was in such poor health that she had to be escorted off stage only after two songs.

Prior to her death on July 17th, 1959, Billy wrote her autobiography with the help of William Dufty and talked about her issues with drug abuse and growing up poor. When Billy died she was under house arrest undergoing treatment for kidney failure, due to drug and alcohol misuse. Use of alcohol, narcotics and tobacco exact a toll not only on the addict but society as well. Misuse of drugs, as seen in the case of Billy Holiday, can make a talented individual a burden on society. Medical treatment of these individuals consumes resources that can be more productively used elsewhere.

Nearly 80% of prisoners in U. S. A. are incarcerated for drug related issues. Tobacco kills nearly 400,000 people, while alcolhol kills 80,000 and Cocaine and Heroin kills 4,500 people in a typical year (Drug Information, 1999). Works Cited Clarke, D. (2000). Wishing On the Moon. In D. Clarke, Wishing On the Moon (pp. 12 and 395-9). (1990). Miles: the autobiography. In M. Davis. Drug Information. (1999, June 1). Retrieved June 07, 2010, from www. a1b2c3. com/drugs/: http://www. a1b2c3. com/drugs/ (1956). Lady Sings the Blues . In W. Dufty, Lady Sings the Blues. New York: Doubleday.

Everyday Drugs Essay

Everyday Drugs Essay

The essay “Everyday Drugs” written by Adam Smith reminds me that government plays an important role in our lives. The government is an important element for the existence of a state. Without which, a particular society will be in chaos. Anarchy will govern. There will be no order because people are not guided by any rules. Due to this, people will always think that every action they make is right. But since there is government, a world full of chaos is prevented.

Every person is guided by laws that govern our action. Each government prescribes what is right and what is wrong. In my opinion, government is very important because it produces harmony and tranquility in a particular society. Sometimes, however, the presence of government restricts our actions too much. It sometimes hinders our freedom to act. Also, government in different countries perceive certain action to be right while some government perceives the same act as illegal.

For example, in Holland, people are allowed to smoke cannabis in public places without being apprehended by the authorities.

This is because smoking of cannabis is allowed in their country. However, if a person is seen smoking cannabis the United States, he or she will be apprehended because that particular act is proscribed in that country. There is no substantial distinction between the people in Holland and the people in America which will give the people in the former be allowed to smoke cannabis.

The only difference between them is that the government perceives such act to be permissible in Holland while the other perceive it otherwise. In the essay, Smith associates government as a drug which prescribes to its people what are the action that are legal and what are those illegal. The government tries to manipulate what our action should be. I believe that it is alright for us to be guided by rules for as long as our freedom to act is not infringed.

The drugging of our children Essay

The drugging of our children Essay

Are young children early on exposed to psychotropic medications due to lack of medical attention? Do millions of children in these countries really have ADD or ADHD? These questions arise all over North America, Great Britain, and Australia. Drugging of children at young ages is the result of self-diagnoses, teacher diagnoses, and lack of medical care and treatment for children with the “disease” of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

In the documentary The Drugging of our Children, Gary Null, Forever Living Products, 2005, DVD Web, brings about the argument.

Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s children began to be put on many different drugs for their behavior in school, the main drug being Ritalin. In the documentary, Null speaks out to parents of children that are on medication by interviewing many different parents, physicians, and education committees about the use of Ritalin and other psychotropic medications in young children.

All of these things that are being evaluated of the child’s behavior is at school, and is compared to the expected behavior of that particular teacher’s classroom.

The film goes on explain how teachers diagnose those more challenging students with either ADD or ADHD and have them forced to put their kid on a medication to “cure” their so called disease. After showing each case and their stories, the film also reflects the long term effects of the medications also. The process of diagnosing a child with ADD or ADHD starts in the school environment.

Teachers early on look for flaws in students in regards to classroom disruption. There is a list of nine elements including: can’t sit in seat, fidgets, jumping out of chair, doesn’t wait his turn, blurts out answer before question is finished being asked, careless mistakes in schoolwork etc. If the teacher can identify at least six out of the nine characteristics, then she has the authority to tell the parent that their child will be sent to a special needs school program. They will also tell parents that their child needs to be medicated for this disease.

Dr. James Schaller of the Medical College of Pennsylvania (Life Script; James Louis Schaller, MD) believes that one must rule everything out first and then see the actual problem before considering medication. It is common in this day and age for people to accuse the hyperactive child of their parents not knowing how to raise or control them. Dr. Michael D. Fraser states that parenting style is not a cause of ADD and ADHD but that it’s hereditary and can even have to do with things like low birth weight, diet, and allergies.

Needleman stated that, “It has also been claimed that exposure to lead can cause delinquent behavior in children”. The number one symptom of ADD or ADHD is “Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat”, stated by Peter Breggin, MD. Null only gets facts and stories from people that have been negatively affected by the use of psychotropic medications and doctors that are against the use of them. The audience is only able to wrap the mind around tragic situations that’ll lead to agreement with the argument presented. It was observed that as children got older, school shootings became more common.

The cause of this was claimed to be that children now days had easier access to guns in the home. Researchers looked further into this answering their own questions like “Weren’t guns easy to access in the 1950’s and 1960’s? ” In fact, yes, it was just as easy, if not easier for children to get their hands on guns then also. Physicians looked further into the children committing these acts. Miguel Humara, Ph. D states that, “The most effective form of treatment for ADD and ADHD are cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychotropic medication”.

All of the children featured in the film had a history of being on some sort of psychotropic medication, the most common being Ritalin. These drugs are most commonly meant for people ages eighteen years or older, but doctors were being lazy and just prescribing these drugs to small children also. Comparing an eighteen year old on Ritalin to a seven year old on it, they had different side effects. While the eighteen year old was experiencing headache and vomiting, the seven year old was hallucinating and unconsciously doing violent acts.

Obvious to viewers that these had long term consequences to younger aged children. This information makes sense and is valid from people with first-hand experience, but what about the people with no horrendous side effects? What about the doctors that do rule out everything before trying out medicine? These things should have also been addressed throughout the film for accurate accusation. The argument is strong and makes the audience think about medicating young children and is definitely persuasive in making them agree.

This argument makes the audience think more in depth of the side effects of medication on young children in both their short term and long term effects. Null, throughout the entire film, speaks to the audience through the credibility of doctors, educators, and parents that have lived through experiences. This is an effective way to grab the attention of the audience with real life stories of victims. It makes the audience feel as if they know the victim and can have sympathy for their experience and therefore be able to agree with the argument, making the argument effective.

In reality, young children are going to be a bit hyper and squirmy in their childhood and shouldn’t be look at as diseased or troubled. They need time to grow up and understand acceptable behavior. Though teachers and parents quickly make the assumption that there is something wrong, doctors need to be the ones to make the ultimate decision. Therefore, drugging of young children is the result of self-diagnoses, teacher diagnoses, and lack of medical attention and care for those with ADD and ADHD.