SPE 1330: Effective Speaking

Informative Speech (Concept-topical)

Steven Rodriguez

(Fall 2011)



The Effects of the Drug War on Society

Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about three major effects of drugs on society.


Central Idea: The three major effects of drugs on society are drug-related violence, teen illicit use of drugs, and drug abuse.




  1. How many of you have ever been offered drugs? Not even illegal drugs, alcohol counts as well. Does anybody know how many are killed today over the War on Drugs? Well today I can tell you it is thousands murdered each year around the world and that country right next to us called Mexico is where the most of the drugs are entering.
    1. This information is very important and should not be ignored. Drugs can be a danger to us health-wise and physical wise.
  2. I have found that many people are not educated on drugs and its effects. This has pushed me forward to give this important information out to you and make our communities a better place.
  3. The three major effects of drugs on society are drug-related violence, teen illicit use of drugs, and drugs abuse and its effects on the body.



  1. Drug-related violence in society.
    1. First, a September 2010 Trends in Organized Crime article states that in the last decade drug-related violent crimes on our Mexican border have spiked to all-time highs.
      1. In the article it states that the reason for such an increase in violence is because the U.S and Mexican government effort to crackdown on drug trafficking.

i. Media outlets in Mexico such as PGR and SEDENA estimate that there were 7,700 drug-related killings in 2009.

ii. If you were to estimate how many killings a day it would be 21.

  1. U.S Naval Intelligence October 2009 article reports that since the demand for illegal drugs in America is what drives the violence on our southern border we should consider decriminalization.
  2. One main reason it drives the violence on the border is because the weapons that the cartel are using to kill are primarily bought in America. AR-15s in border towns are rarely in stock, as soon as they come in it is gone.
  3. Next, in a March 2009 interview conducted by Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes of Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano was asked of the border violence, she said “The stakes are high for the safety of many citizens of Mexico and the United States, no doubt.”
    1. During the same show Anderson Cooper took a trip to a prison to visit one of Mexico’s drug lords, Sandra Beltran.
      1. In her interview she says the reason for so much violence in Mexico is because it is such a competitive market and everyone wants control over routes and supply.
      2. Not only is violence evident on our southern border but this violence trickles down to our own cities when the drugs infiltrate neighborhoods.
      3. Drugs are basically food for gang activity, since drugs are outlawed and not regulated.
        1. For example if Hennessy is outselling Ciroc Vodka, you will not see P. Diddy shoot up the offices of Hennessy. Business owners will not conduct themselves in that manner, but local drug dealers will. They will rob one for their drug supply or for simply selling on their turf.


  1. Finally, a March 2005 Economist Journal article indicates that a one-third of street gangs are involved in drug dealing. Drug-related crimes can range from kidnapping to extortion, robbery, and killing for hire.
    1. Gangs are now obtaining wider networks now due to things like internet and deportation of gang members. Many may dispute that crimes have got lower since the crack era, but with the technology we have now gangs can now expand their drug rings and be able to communicate worldwide with the internet.
    2. Policing efforts have driven gangs underground in the drug market. Making gangs are becoming more organized and this can certainly be a threat to any of us because we do live in one of the biggest cities.


  1. Teen drug use in society.
    1. First, a March 2007 states that from 1992-2001 the juvenile justice system saw a 201% increase in drug abuse violations in girls and a 121% increase in drug abuse violations for boys.
      1. Many may dispute over the reasons for the spike in teen drug use. One must use logic and realize it is easier for a minor to obtain illegal drugs because the drug dealer does not care about the customer’s age, unlike a store which will not permit anybody under 21 to buy alcohol.
      2. According to a 2007 USA Today article the Netherlands where marijuana is legal and regulated have less teen marijuana use than in America.
        1. Regulation suggests that it works better than criminalization and illegalization.
    2. According to the website dosomething.org crystal meth has become the most dangerous drug problem of small town America. Kids between 12 and 14 that live in smaller towns are 104% more likely to use meth than those who live in larger cities.
      1. Meth amphetamine has become the new epidemic in suburbia. It is really interesting how now Crystal Meth is the new thing instead of crack cocaine.
      2. The crackdown on drugs has caused the drug world to become more and more underground and create synthetic drugs. Crystal Meth is made by a few ingredients one can buy in a pharmacy or supermarket. It is pretty hard to stop something one can make in their kitchen with things off the shelves our own stores.


  1. In the dosomething.org it states youth alcohol deaths are 6.5 times higher than all other illicit drugs combined.
    1. My theory on why teen drug use is very high in America is because the alcohol age is far away in the youth’s view which makes them want to be rebellious. It is more of a rebellious act than drinking for the drunkenness. All other drugs are not regulated so those are easy to get, which make teen drug use even more out of control.


  1. Drug Abuse and Effects on the Body.
    1. First, an April 2011 The Journal of Mental Health article states numerous health conditions coexist with or are exacerbated by the use of alcohol among older adults—e.g., heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, gastrointestinal disorder, and diabetes.
    2. In the April 2001 The Journal of Mental Health article the researchers say illicit drug use by adults 55 to 59 to have increased from 1.9% in 2002 to 5.0% in 2008.
      1. Drug Abuse can not only be damaging to your health, but it also can break families apart. Illegal Drugs consume lives just like a black hole consumes stars.
      2. In a July 2010 Addiction article they display a chart that shows the patterns of drug use and how the toxic effects, intoxication, and dependence can lead to serious consequences.
    3. As the drug war goes on, drugs will only start becoming stronger as we can see from Crack Cocaine to Crystal Meth. The drug empires will put anything out on the street that sells; they have a view in which I would call “ruthless capitalism.”




  1. In summary,  I hope you understand the three major effects of drugs on society, which are drug-related violence, teen illicit use of drugs, and drug abuse and effects bod
    1. Many people are misguided on drugs and just know they are bad, they never really know what it causes. Not only can being a drug user kill you, but being a drug dealer can get you killed as well.


Reference List


Shirk, D. A. (2010). Drug violence in Mexico: data and analysis from 2001–2009. Trends in Organized Crime, 13(2/3), 167-174.


Danelo, D. J. (2009). DISORDER ON THE BORDER. U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, 135(10), 44-49.


Napolitano, J. (2009, March 1), Secretary of Homeland Security.


Going global. (2005). Economist, 374(8415), 29.


Nissen, L. (2007). Reclaiming Futures: Communities Helping Teens Overcome Drugs, Alcohol and Crime–A New Practice Framework for Juvenile Justice. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 39(1), 51-58.


(n.d). Adopt different strategy to combat pot use. USA Today.


Briggs, W. P., Magnus, V. A., Lassiter, P., Patterson, A., & Smith, L. (2011). Substance Use, Misuse, and Abuse Among Older Adults: Implications for Clinical Mental Health Counselors. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 33(2), 112-127.


Babor, T. F. (2010). Drug Policy and the Public Good: a summary of the book. Addiction, 105(7), 1137-1145.


National Institute on Drug Abuse (n.d), Retrieved October 21 2011, from http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-shocking-facts-about-teens-and-drug-use

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