The Problem with Drug Abuse
Drug Abuse, the problem with Drug Abuse is that everyone is doing it and not having or fostering the will power to stop. This is made painfully evident by all of the people who are living on the street, panhandling, begging for money on the street corner, sacrificing parts or all of their bodies to get drugs for abuse later on. Some have even resorted to a form of prostitution so they can feed their habit without any regard for anyone but themselves, the sad part is that some of these people are working good jobs and doing very well financially where they can afford to do the kind of things that most people only dream about; taking a vacation to other parts of the world for example. A bigger problem with Drug Abuse is that anyone can start it at any age vs. 30 years ago. For example, back in the 1980s, people who were 21 and older were usually the ones that were big on Drug Abuse or fighting an addiction of some kind or were just abusing drugs just to be doing it; it can be said that it was a convenience issue. People did not too much care if it was an adult doing it because let’s face it, adults will do what adults will do, but it did not make it right especially those who have or were going to have kids. Nowadays, people are abusing drugs earlier and earlier like starting at the tender age of 10 or 11 and spending a good portion of their lives doing it; a reason could be is because it is so readily available where any kid or preteen can get their hands on it. Another reason could be is that the parents of the drug abusers are unaware of the fact that their child is abusing drugs under the cloak of darkness.
The central issue of this matter is that no one is paying close enough attention to these people to really make a difference, I feel it is an issue because there are a lot of bright young people even those not so young are just throwing their lives away over it. Another issue I have is that people with these bright futures will hang out with those who do not have anything going for them, and let themselves be turned into something totally different than what they started out as. Mainly because the potential drug abuser(s) just want to belong or be cool, this is a huge issue because peer pressure has been one of the biggest abnormal behavior triggers since time immemorial. Parents see these kids, and the signs that they are abusing drugs, but the parents will just play it off as, “oh I do not have time to care about their teen drama” or “they are just acting out, they will get over it and grow up out of it” or my personal favorite, “my child is not a drug abuser just because you say so” 9 times out of 10, parents will listen to total strangers before listening to the middle or high school principal even though the principal is clearly seeing this going on in front of their eyes. The big issue is that by the time the parents actually get around to caring enough about the situation to actually listen to what people are telling them, it is already too late; the seeds of drug abuse have already been sown within the child or person’s body structure. The issue is that people especially parents need to pay attention to the signs that their child is drug abusing especially if the parent is giving their child money for what the parent thinks is school lunch, but it turns out to be drugs; the irony is that the parents never quite stop to ask the child where the money is going especially if the person is asking for money every minute of the day. Another reason why I feel it is a big issue is because the parents want to yell at, and blame the child when they should be yelling and blaming themselves for not taking the time to do the right thing which is taking an interest in their child.
What made Drug Abuse an Issue
There is easily a million and one things that has made Drug Abuse an issue over the span of time not to mention the people that have been affected by it. Several things have made Drug Abuse an issue of extreme importance. For example, the amount of time that drug abusing kids are not spending in school but other places off the beaten path like warehouses that some would think are abandoned but are really not and are abusing in the places. Back in the 1990s, drug abuse did not seem so prevalent among popular teen cliques; the worse that most people even parents had to worry about was their child’s entourage as well as themselves getting in trouble with the law doing things like petty vandalism or trying to steal a box of condoms out of a convenience store. Unfortunately, in the present day, things are far worse and everyone whose anyone will become a drug abuser either from getting hooked on the prescription drugs that they take or messing around with the unnamed drugs in the medicine cabinet. It used to be that most parents did not have to worry about their 5 or 6 year old getting into their “childproof” medicine bottles, but that is definitely not the case in the present day. More and more kids are getting smarter about opening childproof medicine bottles; this gives the child options about whether or not to abuse drugs; normally when a person sees something as a waste of time, they do not go near it or give up on overcoming that obstacle. Another thing that has made Drug Abuse an issue is the amount of children, and teenagers being taken away from their families by DFS-Department of Family Services because of fear that the child is being corrupted in a drug abusing household. There are more children in foster care because of this, and the number has grown substantially over the past 30 years. It is because this is an issue of solemn importance that there is constant need for neighborhood drug rehabilitation centers, so that the child or teen can recover close by. Another thing, when issues like this go to court, people say it is the kid’s fault when the reality is that it is the parents fault.
History of the Issue
Interesting enough, drug abuse did not become the center of attention until the 1980s when there were more and more people abusing drugs for pointless reasons. Throughout the centuries, mankind has abused drugs for several reasons and some of them are not very common today because some people would say it is just normal. Back in the age of the early Egyptian dynasties, there were so many emperors and empresses that had wine with their feasts. It was said that wine was its own drug because wine got people addicted to it; sadly, this was a very prevalent thing back in those days. Narcotics came along later with countries like Egypt and Africa at the helm, this was the start of something very big that would later hit the U.S. Apparently, narcotics was not just used for abuse but currency as well so it could be used for abuse from the person that it was purchased from. It was not until the late 19th to early 20th century that people of all kinds were abusing drugs for all sorts of reasons; some were doing it for the thrill of what might happen if they did it. There were some that did it because they were experimenting with it in hopes that they will turn their backs on it forever which hardly ever happens because as everyone knows, once an addict, always an addict. Throughout history, drugs have always been on the ready and for anyone to just come along and pick it up. Once in hand, the person’s persona completely changes. It has always been easy for people to get their hands on drugs and abuse them because drugs were everywhere; it got to the point that a person did not have to travel very far to find a dealer because everyone had a stash on them to either do themselves or to sell on the ready. Even post-Civil War, people even soldiers drug abused morphine because not only was it an addictive painkiller, but it felt good to the person taking it. Taking morphine puts a person in a state of psychic euphoria that allows them to make any and all pain go away, even if that pain was not physical; it became a painkiller for bad days alone in the late 1980s.
Statistics on the Issue
As everyone well knows, anyone in any race can abuse drugs heavily and be arrested for it never mind the reasons behind why they did it in the first place. Everyone race-wise has their good and bad days; in fact, studies have shown that people within the white community know someone who abuses drugs on a daily basis. These people are 5.5 times more likely to not just abuse drugs, but open their families up to it as well. In the African American community, a little over 59% of blacks built a reputation on drug abuse back in the late 1980s to mid-1990s. Within that 59%, 32% of the blacks within that community were drug abusing to feel good or to come down from trouble at work or divorce. 12% of the white people within the white community get arrested and charged on drug abuse charges and are given up to 24 to 36 months in prison. 7.9% of whites who are first time drug abusers are given community service, mandatory rehab, mandatory random drug tests with a 24-60 month jail sentence should they fail to comply to any of the above.
Drug Abuse’s Impact on Society
The problem this has on society is that there are way too many people choosing to look the other way when they see someone they know, and love doing it. Epidemically, people are throwing their lives away on drug abuse because they think it is the only way for them to feel good about themselves or using it as a means to get people’s respect. However, the overall impact that this is having on society is that people are homeless and kids are orphaned an alarming rate. Families are torn apart and divided, the kids are sent to foster homes or other family members who do not want them. Sadly, another situation that children find themselves in is that the parental figure that is abusing drugs in front of them are being abused themselves. As a result, the children eventually grow up abusing the same drugs that killed their parents or divided their family.
Agencies that are getting involved
Getting help for drug abuse has never been easy, and that process is even more difficult when a person has to go before other people, complete strangers, and admit to them that they have a drug problem that has destroyed them. However, there are agencies that are there to not just help the person with the drug addiction but the family in general. Child Welfare is one of the most top of the line organizations that will helps families get the help they need, and offer information on helping children get to a safe house until the parents have received treatment and recovered successfully. Another good organization is the Center on Addiction and the Family, which basically offers and delivers therapeutic help for families who are drug abusers or are descendants of drug abusers. These agencies are getting involved because of the children whose very lives are being changed by the drug abuse activity around them. These agencies and many more are looking out for the children’s welfare so they can get them out of these hellish and mind eroding environments.
What the top theorists say
Now, normal people who know other people who drug abuse will be quick to pass judgment in the aspect that the person is just weak and pathetic; they are the degenerate scum of society. However, Karl Marx clearly states that those who are underprivileged and do not have access to opportunities like other people like education or positive ways to make money will more than likely fall into the trap of drug abuse. Max Weber analyzes the drug abuse problem with people’s rationale or lack thereof. Emilie Durkheim and Robert Merton argue that drug abuse is the end result of things like being ostracized from groups and friends, lack of educational opportunities to get out of the drug abusing lifestyle or away from people who do it, stress or the inevitable strain to commit a crime to gain the drug. Charles Horton Cooley diagnoses that people who are drug abusers can be seen as degenerates who do not care about the welfare of others only themselves.
Works Cited Page
"The Impact of Drugs on Society." National Drug Intelligence Center. U.S Department of Justice, n.d. Web. 21 Mar 2014.
Williams, Roland. "Cultural Considerations in AOD Treatment for African Americans ." . N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar 2014.