Inner-city substance abuse

Essay by David Hector CruzCollege, UndergraduateB+, March 1997

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Substance abuse is an ever increasing epidemic facing America's

inner-city minorities. There are several different drugs that are gaining

popularity amongst inner-city youths 1. Juice, that is marijuana soaked in

embalming fluid is starting to show up in more and more inner east coast

cities 2. Crack or rock cocaine is by far one of the most addicting drugs out

there, it's been engulfing America's inner-cities since the early 80's 3.

Heroin, is also making a comeback 4. Alcohol and marijuana are still very

popular in the lower and upper classes 5. There are some very distinctive

differences in the substance abuse seen in the less fortunate classes and the

abuse in the middle and upper classes. The upper classes drug of choose is

powder cocaine. The less fortunate classes prefer rock cocaine. Alcohol is

popular in both classes but also in different forms. The upper and middle

class teenagers seem to want to experiment more with designer or new age

drugs. The reason that there is so much media hype about the drug abuse

amongst the poor is because the rich have the political power to cover it up,

the poor don't.

Crack is cocaine mixed with baking soda and cooked in to rock form

6. Even though crack and cocaine are the same drug (just in different forms)

the courts give out stiffer sentences for crack offenders than powder cocaine

offenders 7. According to federal law if a person is caught with five grams

of crack they get a mandatory five year sentence 8. To get a five year

sentence for trafficking powder cocaine a person would have to be caught

with 500 grams 9. African-Americans account for 88.3 percent of all federal

crack distributors 10. This sentencing shows how the judicial system goes

harder on black...