Drug Abuse: A Serious Social and Health Issue in the United States

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Drug Abuse refers to the illegal use of drugs or the misuse of over the counter drugs for a period of at least one year with negative consequences. A drug addict is someone who relies on a substance in a physiological manner. Drug abuse affects the entire society, as well as individuals. In addition, drug abuse affects family, government resources, friends, among other parties. Furthermore, drug abuse is a social problem and not a personal problem.

The effects that drug abuse have on physical and mental and physical health of the population can be considered in terms of the impacts that the drug has on the society and individuals (Abadinsky, 2013). Moreover, drug abuse has effects on the health of an individual. Some of these effects include HIV contraction, hallucinations, and a low quality of life. According to research, drug abusers have a fifty percent chance of contracting HIV. Most drug abusers share syringes which expose them to the virus. In terms of pregnancy, drug abuse leads to premature delivery, low birth weights in all female drug addicts.

In the American society, drug abuse is a serious social and health problem facing the society. In the United States, substance abuse causes deaths, disabilities, illnesses, as well as other health problems. Drug addiction and drug use is a social problem because it takes place in the society where sober people can prevent it from taking place (Ericson, 2001). A majority of young people use drugs in an experimental manner to feel what experienced users feel. If the social structure has policing policies, the young people could not engage in drug use because of the sound advice they would receive from their mentors.

Sociology refers to the study of the human social behavior. This is especially the study of the origins, institutions, organization, as well as the development of the human society. On the other hand, sociological imagination refers to the vivid awareness of the relationship that exists between the wider society and experience. There is a value in using sociology and one’s sociological imagination, as a way of understanding the social life as it relates to drug abuse as a

social problem. All behaviors have some forms of sociological imaginations. In terms of drug abuse, sociology and sociological imagination can be viewed from the perspective of being social activities such as meeting a friend for an alcoholic drink. Such an activity is one that has less focus on the beverage, and more on the activity of meeting with another person (Roy, 2010). This is a research on the mental, social and health problem presented by the abuse and use of drugs.

Drug addiction is a habit that changes in a gradual manner the behavior of an individual, from a literate and competent person, to an aggressive, careless, wild and incompetent person. In addition, unattended drug addiction can lead to cases of mental relapse, meaning that the victim cannot control his, or her behavior (McLellan, Lewis, O’Brien, & Kleber, 2000). Furthermore, most drug addicts develop withdrawal symptoms if they do not use a drug for some time. Most drug addicts are not able to quit their habit because of adverse withdrawal symptoms. Moreover, drug addicts are more concerned with functional impairment of withdrawal symptoms. This reduces the chances of a drug addict healing (Knight, et al., 2002).

There are special vulnerabilities associated with drug abuse. For example, drug addiction can lead to baldness, low sperm count, infertility, increased chances of prostate cancer, as well as shrunken testicles in male addicts. In addition, drug addiction can lead to the enlargement of sexual organs, reduced sex drive, and deepening of voices in female addicts. Drug addiction can also lead to stunted growth because of premature skeletal maturation in adolescent addicts (Kilpatrick, et al., 2000). The commonly abused drugs are marijuana, and alcohol. In colleges, students abuse these drugs in large quantities (Kaminer, 2001). In terms of fatalities, deaths related to drug abuse are on the increase. Some drug addicts become violent and can attack their families, leading to injury or death of their victim. Furthermore, adolescents are sexually and physically assaulted, and some proceed to develop posttraumatic stress disorder (Carroll & Onken, 2005).

Drug abuse and use is widespread among the youth. For example, a study conducted in Canada, on adolescents aged between twelve and seventeen years had interesting findings. The sample size of the study was four thousand and twenty three adolescents. In the study, the sample size complicates the generalization of results of a quantitative nature. In addition, during the study conducted in Canada, age and ethnicity were available for three thousand and ninety seven participants. According to the study, about a third of African American adolescents had high chances of developing substance abuse or dependence (Kilpatrick, et al., 2000).

Another study conducted in the United States had a sample size of fourteen thousand students from one hundred and nineteen four year colleges. The students participated in a questionnaire provided by the researchers and gave their views on the issues needing clarification. According to the findings of this study, 31 percent of the students endorsed criteria for an alcohol diagnosis abuse. In addition 6 percent of the students endorsed diagnosis in the previous twelve months. The study found that students who were heavy episodic drinkers exceeded those who did not have an alcohol disorder (Knight, et al., 2002).

There are three theories that can assist in understanding drug abuse and use as a problem. Genetic theory is the first theory. According to the theory, drug addiction can be a biological mechanism, which can be encoded in the DNA that drives an individual’s behavior. In addition, according to the theory, the differences that exist in the genetic compositions of human beings influence the addiction rates of individuals (McLellan, Lewis, O’Brien, & Kleber, 2000). Exposure theory is the second theory. According to the theory, it is the time that an individual exposes him, or herself to drug substances that determines their chances of becoming drug addicts. Addiction refers to the cumulative result emanating from the reinforcement of a drug in the body of an individual. Lastly, according to adaptation theories, it is the psychological, social, as well as environmental factors that influence the levels of drug addiction in an individual.

The paper has looked on the effects that drug abuse and use has on an individual, as well as the society. There should be further research on the effects of drug abuse to society. This research should take place based on the fact that drug abuse disenfranchises the social, economic, and health development of the society. The process of controlling drug addiction begins with an individual accepting that they are an addict. In turn, the society should assist individuals who require guidance and help on how to quit drug addiction.


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Drug Abuse: A Serious Social and Health Issue in the United States. (2022, Dec 06). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/drug-abuse-a-serious-social-and-health-issue-in-the-united-states/

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