The laundry list of both illegal and legal drugs has endured lasting debates as to whether they should be classified as œsoft or œhard drugs. What is most often found is that personal perspective...
The laundry list of both illegal and legal drugs has endured lasting debates as to whether they should be classified as œsoft or œhard drugs. What is most often found is that personal perspective often plays a role in the classification process, rather than hard evidence.
Typically, a hard drug is considered a substance which is highly addictive and causes adverse side effects. Drugs such as cocaine, heroin and meth are undoubtedly considered hard drugs as prolonged use can lead to physical complications such as heart attack, stroke and death; in addition, they often incite behavioral changes such as chronic depression, aggression, anxiety, and paranoia.
Drugs such as marijuana, LSD and certain pills such as ecstasy are most often considered ˜soft' drugs, since they don't cause serious addictions or serious negative health side-effects. Although ecstasy and marijuana have been known to cause memory problems and even depression with prolonged use, no one has ever died from a marijuana overdose, nor has anyone ever developed a physical addiction to LSD.
The debate becomes problematic when considering the government's classification of drugs. With marijuana in the same class as heroin when dealing with drug-related crimes, there's plenty of debate as to whether or not this even makes sense. With thousands of people jailed across the nation on a daily basis for possession or use of marijuana, many believe that these people should be forced to attend rehab instead of sitting in jail. Yet others are glad to have these people off the streets period. Another skewed perspective is the classification of alcohol and cigarettes. Both of these substances are highly addictive, can cause severe health problems and cause thousands of deaths annually. Yet for some reason many would classify these two substances as soft drugs because they are legal and taxed. They are both so widely and popularly used, even in the media, that they often go by unnoticed. The truth is however, that alcohol and cigarettes kill more people annually than marijuana ever has, and even more than heroin and methamphetamine. What is going on, really?
While some are aware of the potency and danger of alcohol and cigarettes, this is where personal perspective comes into play. While some œnon-drug users find the classification as system as pointless, in general, a person who has experienced and knows the effects of these substances will have totally different ideas as to their lethality and seriousness. The general rule of thumb remains that marijuana, LSD, psilocybin and ecstasy remain as ˜soft' drugs in the eye of the general population, while heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, opioids, and painkillers remain as ˜hard' drugs. It's important to keep in mind that as far as government ruling goes, both categories are still ruled harshly upon, and are considered dangerous substances punishable by fines, jail time, and the law in general.
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