Nightclubs\' Role In Our Drug Problem

Cultural beliefs, expectations, and ideals - how they contribute to drug use.
Why they cause certain anti-drug efforts to fail

The extermination of illegal drugs has always been one of our most
important, worldwide issues. Ending the existence of drugs is one of the
toughest and most complicated goals we face. Despite our constant battle
against them, illegal substances continue to exist and thrive in our culture.
With all the effort we put into the war against drugs, why is there little
success? Lack of effort is not a major reason our attempts are failing. It is
the lack of understanding that leads to the misdirection and failure of our
attempts. Obviously a strong desire to use drugs exists, and it is the
prevention of this desire that we need to focus on in order to wipe out drugs
from our lives.
In fact, our focus is strongly on punishing drug users, yet
applying laws against committed drug crimes has not proven to be an effective
solution. Drugs are still produced and distributed everywhere, and are taken by
many. -- despite
Obviously our focus is mid-directed. Because all types of people use
illegal substances, pinpointing one specific group to “bust” is not effective.
Recently, we have tried to track the location of drug use. We find places where
drugs tend to be, and seek to close them down as an effort to decrease the
overall use of drugs.
This has proved to be an ineffective technique because it does not
change people\'s craving for drugs. Reasons leading up to drug use still exist.
Arresting people for drugs does not kill their desire to use them. Closing
down a crack house does not end the residents addiction, it just forces them to
move. Reprimanding committed crimes does not eliminate the reason they were
committed. Addressing drug offenses after they have been made is not an
effective deterrent because the desire for the drug\'s effect still remains.
Why is this desire more influential than the law? Partly because the
potential benefits of drugs overwhelm us, and turn our focus away from the
potential dangers and consequences. People will go to extreme lengths to be the
best, or better than what they presently are. Culture\'s attitudes toward beauty,
money, power as a representation for success drives us to turn to drugs.
Drugs symbolize power, status, freedom, and the ultimate “high” in our world.
Drugs can help people achieve higher status, more power, as well as the
overwhelming physical and emotional “escape.” Ultimately, the desire for the
drug high is worth the risk -- which we conceive to be very small -- of being
caught. In reality, the risk of getting caught is extremely slim. Only a
small percentage of all drug crimes do get caught, so our fear of the law is
minimal. Therefore, we continue to use drugs, and are rarely deterred by the
infrequent actions taken to stop what we so badly want to achieve. In addition,
many people are willing to risk getting caught, because the benefits of drugs
outweigh the risks.
Despite our strong cultural expectations which encourage this rampant
drug use, we continue to rely on the law to solve the drug problem. Today, one
popular technique is closing down high-drug use establishments, the most
prevalent in our country being nightclubs. These exist for people\'s pleasure,
and serve as a site of experimentation and enjoyment; in many different ways.
People are interested in all aspects of clubs, and are drawn into being a part
of them. Nightclubs are a combination of many aspects within the entertainment
industry; including music, fashion, beauty/modeling and acting. Along with
working in, and striving to be a part of, these industries comes the pressure to
keep up with the competition. Those involved in these industries compete just
as much as those who are not; generally, everyone strives to achieve what they
do not have.
Our cultural beliefs about success in these areas include the use of
drugs as a means of reaching our goals. Drugs have always been closely linked
to the entertainment industry, and regardless of their illegal status, many of
us succumb to the temptation. This is often a direct result of the pressure
and competition that our culture puts each individual through. We are not
easily deterred from using drugs because we refuse to give up our dreams and
goals, and often are willing to do whatever it takes along the path to success.
These strong values keep laws from stopping our drug use. While the
closing of a nightclub may stop us from using drugs there, it