Narcotic drugs are substances of which has been used as pain relievers but are most popular with being socially unacceptable. According to research, “a narcotic is an analgesic or pain-killing substance that depress vital body functions such as blood pressure, pulse rate and breathing rate; regular administration of narcotics produces physical dependence” (Saferstein, 2011). This suggests that narcotic drugs primarily target the functioning of organs used for respiratory usage.
Nonetheless, throughout the gist of the composition, there will be a classification of the differences of narcotic drugs in criminal law, a provision of the required forensic evidence needed to obtain a conviction in a drug case, and an explanation of the importance of the analysis of drugs in a criminal case. There are many differences in the classification of narcotic drugs in criminal law. Although all narcotics relieve pain by depressing the central nervous system, not all narcotics affect the body the same.
Some narcotics are prescribed by physicians for pain, while others are loosely used to describe illegal substances. For instance; studies show that, “The U. S Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) divides narcotics into scheduled classifications (one through five) based on the potential for abuse and medical use” (McElfresh, 2011). This suggests that depending on the possible intent for abuse of the narcotic will determine the schedule classification of which it is categorized in criminal law.
Also, according to research, there are four different types of narcotics which are listed as; opiods, cannabinoids, hallucinogens and stimulants” (McElfresh, 2011). All categories hold a different schedule classification based off the potential for abuse. Opiods are “natural and synthetic morphine like product extracted from the poppy plant and is found in schedule two and three of the DEA’s classification” (Kukate & Gokhale, 2008). Furthermore, opiods can stop the awareness of pain and can increase the potential for abuse because it can be obtained legally.
In contrary, another category for narcotics is cannabinoids, which according to research, “cannabinoids narcotics, such marijuana and hashish, are schedule one drugs according to the DEA while holding a usage statistic of 15. 2 million people aged twelve and older in 2008 – and the active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinal in cannabinoids works on the pleasure center of the brain as well as the parts the control memory, coordination and perception” (Bennett, Holloway & Maguire, 2005).
This suggests that unlike opiods, cannabinoids are substances that are easily accessed and are listed as number one as a substance with a high potential for abuse. The next two narcotic category is hallucinogens and stimulants. According to research, “hallucinogens can cause dream-like state of consciousness and have no medical use which means they are purely for recreational use which is why they are classified in the DEA’s schedule one under the highest abuse potential” (McElfresh, 2011).
This suggests the hallucinogens are the only narcotics that have no medical purpose and still remains to be classified as a high abuse potential. On the other hand, stimulants are known to increase the activity in the central nervous system by affecting neurons in the brain. Studies show that, “stimulants can range from legal to illegal substances, which is why stimulant drugs range from schedule class three to one according the DEA” (McElfresh, 2011). This suggests that stimulants contain side effects that target the respiratory system which is different that of the affects of other narcotics.
Nevertheless, although narcotics are separated into unique categories to express their differences, they all have an overall similar affect on the body by attacking brain functioning. In a criminal drug case there are required forensic evidence needed to obtain a conviction. There must be a tests done on the substance to ensure that it is identified correctly. Studies show that, “this process is done by subjecting the material to a series of color tests that produce characteristic colors for the more commonly encountered illicit drugs” (Saferstein, 2011).
This suggests that in-order to determine the type of drugs collected on the scene of a crime, there are tests that must be conducted to ensure valid identification. Also, in the process of convicting a criminal, it is important for drug evidence in a crime case to go through a chain of custody while ensuring the proper preservation of evidence. For instance; when an investigator sends a drug evidence found on the crime scene to a laboratory for forensic analysis, they must be very detailed in the specified information recorded about the possible identity of the unknown substance.
This in-turn will help will help the forensic analyst grasp a more in-depth idea of the possible substance of which is needed to be properly identified. Studies shows, that when drug evidence is collected from the scene of a crime it must be properly labeled, processed, packaged and shipped to the forensic lab (Saferstein, 2011). If this process is not done correctly, it may come up for challenge in the criminal court case because the defendant can argue whether the or not the substance was properly identified. Also, if the chain of custody isn’t completed correctly, it could sabotage the entire criminal case.
Studies show that, “adherence to standard procedure in recording the location of the evidence, marking it with identification and properly completing evidence submission forms for laboratory analysis is the guarantee that the evidence will withstand inquiries of what happened to it from the time of its finding to its presentation in court” (Saferstein, 2011). This suggests that all processes from when the evidence was discovered, the testing and the presentation in court must be done thorough and accurately in order to minimize any possibility for questionable tactics.
As a result, drug evidence has to undergo the correct protocol in order to be viewed as valid evidence in the court of law. In conclusion, the classification of narcotic drugs allows the forensic evidence needed to obtain a conviction to rely on the validity of the analysis of drugs in a criminal case. Narcotics are the oldest as well as the strongest pain-relieving drugs known to man and are classified by it level for abuse potential. This substance is dangerous because of its potential for deadly interactions with other medications as well as their potential for dependence and addiction.
All in all, since narcotics are the most commonly used drugs in the United States, scientist should develop ways to use pain the killing properties of narcotics while counter acting their addictive qualities. References Bennett, T. , Holloway, K. , & Macquire, M. (2005). Crime and justice : Understanding drugs, alcohol and crime . Berkshire, GBR : McGraw-Hill Education Retrieved from http://site. ebrary. com/lib/ashford/docDetail. action? docID=10161331&p00=narcotic drugs evidence Kokate, C. K. , & Gokhale, S. B. (2008).