Drug Abuse and War on Drugs.

Traffic (2000) tells four parallel and correlated stories: A conservative judge in charge of America’s war on drugs finds his teenage honor student daughter addicted to drugs; a white businessman and his beautiful trophy wife use the legitimate business to cover underground drug traffic for huge profit; two Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents protect a witness with inside knowledge of drug traffic across the border; a dedicated Mexican cop struggles to deal with his boss, an anti-drug official who is in the drug business.  As stated in Oltmanns and Emery (2012), Traffic explores the dark world of international drug trafficking from many perspectives, including a user, a dealer, an enforcement officer, and a politician. The film illustrates vividly the impact of drugs on people’s lives and raises challenging questions about the consequences of social policies aimed at prohibiting access to drugs.

The abuse of alcohol and other drugs is one of the most serious problems facing our society today. It is likely that you or someone close to you will be affected by the substance use issues as seen in this film. Alcohol and drug problems receive a great deal of attention in the popular media, as illustrated by actress Lindsay Lohan’s repeated struggles with alcohol and the drug-related suicide of Kurt Cobain, leader of the rock group Nirvana. Research efforts, treatment priorities, and national publicity have all helped transform national attitudes about the abuse of chemical substances. The picture of the drug addict as a homeless derelict whose personality defects and lack of motivation are largely responsible for the problem is being replaced by a new view in which substance abuse is seen as a chronic mental disorder that affects people from all walks of life (Oltmanns & Emery, 2012, p. 272).


Oltmanns, T. F. & Emery, R. E. (2012). Abnormal psychology (7th ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

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