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Why Is Drug Abuse And Dependency Seen As A Social Issue

Current drug debates in some parts of the world manifest cultural lag, the resulting conflict of values reflecting the lack of consistency between traditional teachings and society's worldview today. Thus, the abuse and dependency of drugs cause a ripple effect of life-long health, financial, and familial issues that collectively affect society when left untreated. 

Drug Abuse And Dependency: A Disease

Drug abuse and dependency are defined as medical illnesses that affect the brain and influence behavior. So why is drug abuse and dependency seen as a social issue? It can be fueled by various substances like illicit drugs, prescription pharmaceuticals, and even some over-the-counter treatments. 

The distinction hasn't done much to help people see addiction as a sickness rather than a moral failing or a criminal problem. It's often related to several short- and long-term health consequences. 

Even though the consequences of different drugs differ, chronic use of any substance can cause chronic illness or decrease productivity. Some of which include type II diabetes, cancer, and even cardiovascular disease. Increasing tolerance, which leads to overdose, is the most devastating outcome of drug addiction. 

Crime And Drug Abuse

The War on Drugs in the 1970s has propelled the rates of incarceration in the US. A study reports that non-violent and drug-related charges account for more than one-third of arrests. The War on Drugs has largely targeted people with substance abuse problems.

Arrests for possession make it harder for people to find work and also affect the economy as a whole. Since then, more than $1 trillion has been spent, and more than 45 million people have been arrested. 

This issue has continued to prevail, with a global pandemic ramping up the numbers on drug risk. The United Nations Office On Drug And Crime (UNODC) reports an 11% increase in drug use by 2030.

How To Intervene With Drug Use Before Becoming A Social Issue

Treatment and rehabilitation are highly encouraged and necessary for people suffering from drug dependency and abuse. Family, child care, vocational, mental health, medical, educational, HIV/AIDS, legal, financial, housing, and transportation services can be used in addiction treatment centers or in the community to address social, family, and other issues.

Many individual and group treatments for SUDs target social recovery concerns in recovery, but retaining consistency and following a thorough treatment plan encourages the following: 

  • Minimize your contact with high-risk people, places, or events.
  • Reconcile broken relationships.
  • Create new friendships.
  • Build a sober support network.
  • Joining peer-to-peer programs and social activities that are substance-free.

Because of traditional roles and societal pressures, drug abuse is widely stigmatized. This requires people to gain a new perspective on drug dependency to support recovery and treatment as a solution rather than social punishment. Read more about rehabilitation as a solution to drug dependency at Radical Rehab.

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