Drug trade has been rife with violence for decades, though the level of violence we experience today are extraordinary. Without working on minimizing the severity of the problems that confront us today, it is critical to understand the background of the culture of violence and the cyclical nature of the violence epidemics. Substance abuse is one of the major problems facing nations while costing them a lot of money in health care costs, lost productivity, related crimes, and other social costs. It also contributes to high death rates annually. There are promising strategies and programs used to reduce substance abuse in helping the communities address the devastating effects of illicit drugs and alcohol abuse (SCODC, 2010). Also, environmental prevention efforts aim to change community conditions to reduce its usage and demand. Using community-based strategies is effective as the drug traffickers, and illicit drug users are part of the community.
According to researchers, gang activities have extended beyond the inner cities of major populated areas through smaller communities and suburbs. Researchers have continued to identify factors that influence the youth to gang involvement. Among them, substance abuse is a major factor. Due to high populations in the community levels, easy access to illicit drugs and the financial rewards of drugs gives alternatives of drugs that are attractive for the youth who have lower inadequate education facing limited employment opportunities. Their involvement leads them into high risked behaviors and potential involvement into gangs.
A community-based program strategy is effective in identifying the intensity of the narcotics in the area. In this way, the authorities can reduce drug trafficking as they will be dealing with specific geographical areas.
The figure of unemployed youths in the community can be used to gauge the crime rates in the area. The process involves identifying the effects of drugs and groups of people who use drugs. The data collected can show the number of unemployed youths with their education levels versus the crime rate of the area. Also, visiting the courts and getting the statistics of the youths caught in drug trafficking charges can help in identifying the trend and future solutions.
There are various methods of data collection used to obtain data. Enumeration is one of the methods used to obtain information from each user eliminating double counting. However, collating data information from data sources using unnamed identifier information can be imprecise. Some of the data sources that indicate the number of drug users within a locality include drug treatment agencies, needle exchanges, HIV treatment agencies, emergency rooms and general practitioners.
Surveys can be used in general to provide information on the use of drugs at the national level. These surveys include population surveys, specific surveys on drug use or the general health related cases or crime surveys (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 2009). Surveys can assess the nature and the extent of drug abuse and provide information on recent or lifetime drug use of respondents. When using the survey method, it is often easier to get a representative sample and other repeated surveys that describe trends in drug trafficking and abuse. Use of multiplier techniques as a methodology employs two samples of collected data. To get an estimated figure on the prevalence of drug abuse is possible through the application of a multiplication factor to other indicators on particular information and drug-related deaths.
The number of unemployed youths can be calculated using the methodologies stated. An estimate of the number of users in one geographical area may not differ much from a related affected area. Statistical data collected in one area may be similarly proportional to the working of the law in the area in relation to the unemployed youths present in the area. In this way, the police can use the community allies to report new dealing sites around their areas. The community-based program with involvement of the police could make the buyers vulnerable by involving the police to pose as dealers and in the process; they can arrest buyers (SAMHSA, 2014). The original dealers will be distracted, and their trafficking works disrupted from smooth running. In addition, the police can be involved by interfering with dealer-known sites and as such reducing drug operations in the area amongst involved youths.
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National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. (2009). Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders among Young People: Progress and Possibilities. Committee on the Prevention of Mental Disorders and Substance Abuse among Children, Youth, and Young Adults: Research Advances and Promising Interventions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Retrieved from http://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/books/NBK32775/pdf/TOC. pdf
South Caucasus Office on Drugs and Crime (SCODC). (2010). Drug Prevention, Treatment and Care. Retrieved from http://www. scodc. org/tag/drug-prevention/
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (2014). Focus on Prevention. Retrieved from http://store. samhsa. gov/shin/content/SMA10-4120/SMA10-4120. pdf