All over the world, drug addiction is considered a social problem. It is viewed as a threat to society. The personal struggle is extremely difficult, but it gets even harder once you realize that addiction also affects the world beyond you.
Family members of drug addicted individuals also feel like their world is ending-- like it is collapsing in on itself. That's why they continue to view it as a private hurdle. It's something they don't want to discuss; it's something they are ashamed of.
People who are suffering from drug addiction often view it as a personal struggle. They fail to see the big picture, because the problem by itself already feels so overbearing.
Drug dependence and addiction have various health effects that destroy the abuser's body. They have developed dependence for the drug. It forces them to take more and more of the drug.
Beyond these physical and psychological effects, drug addiction ruins families, breaks down relationships, ends careers, and affects the society as a whole.
These social effects don't become clear to the addicted individual, because the drug makes them prioritize it over everything else. Expect a drug abuser to neglect their responsibilities for the sake of experiencing another high.
Social problems are defined as factors that damage society. Their effects are on the grand scale, affecting communities and even entire nations. It can affect entire populations.
A drug addicted individual may not be able to cause all this damage and destruction. Consider how many people are abusing various substances, and how many are getting addicted. Imagine how many relationships and families are getting broken down by these adverse effects.
Again, this is a picture that won't be clear to a person suffering the effects of addiction. The worst part is that they might not even want to get better.
And this contributes to the shame that keeps people from seeking treatment. It's a public opinion that allows drug addiction to remain a serious problem for society. It rivals its fellow social problems such as poverty, sexually-transmitted disease, alcoholism, unemployment, and sexual abuse.
Once the image sets in of how far-reaching this problem is, it becomes crystal clear that drug abuse and addiction is a social problem.
Drug addiction as a whole is an enormous burden for society. It affects everyone: even those who don't abuse the substances.
Drug abuse costs the nation more than $484 billion annually. This has something to do with the number of drugs available illicitly; the number of prescription drugs that are abused; the number of people using them recreationally or misusing them; and all the different health effects that need to be treated due to substance abuse.
On the bigger scale, drug abuse becomes a major public health concern. It impacts the population on multiple levels, including health, economy, and the law. Every year, it takes a tremendous toll on society.
Aside from health care expenditures, this figure also accounts for lost earnings, and the costs associated with accidents and criminal activity.
Did you know that diabetes costs the United States around $131.7 billion annually? Cancer costs $171.6 billion annually. Combine these two numbers and you get $303.3 billion per year-- a number that's still lower than what substance abuse costs the US every year.
Drugged driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is the cause of accidents for approximately 10 to 22 percent of drivers.
Drug abuse also relates to other social problems experienced by the US. Violence, for example, is closely linked to it. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), At least half of the individuals arrested for crimes such as assault and homicide were under the influence of illicit drugs around the time of their arrest.
Child abuse is another societal problem that has something to do with drug abuse, as two-thirds of patients in drug abuse treatment centers admitted to being abused physically or sexually as children.
Individuals not only suffer from various health problems, they are also putting themselves at risk of death. Back in 2000, drug abuse and smoking were linked to around 460,000 deaths. Drug abusers don't just risk getting ill, they also risk getting injured.
And this problem extends to people in the community. Oftentimes, accidents don't just affect the addicted individual. Many people who just happen to be on the same road can be killed when a drugged driver gets on an accident.
If you know someone who is abusing a substance, reach out to them and convince them to get rehabilitated. Addiction is a social problem, so by getting treated by medical professional, they are doing society a lot of good.
While drug abuse is already a big problem for the individual all by itself, it is important to remember that there is a bigger world out there, with which we interact, that can be affected and harmed because of this addictive habit.
They will undergo detoxification under the care of medical experts, so they can safely get off the drug while managing their withdrawal symptoms. With proper care and guidance, they can finally get back to living a sober life, and make the world around them an even better place to be.
The drug problem is so widespread and pervasive that everyone is at least acquainted to or familiar with someone who is affected by drug abuse.