The social issue that I have decided to identify and discuss is abuse. Abuse can be defined as, to use wrongly or improperly or can also be defined as treating in an injurious or harmful way. There are various types of abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and substance abuse just to mention but a few. Abuse is susceptible to anyone at any age and different types of abuses have become big social issues in our society that needs to be handled. I am going to discuss substance abuse as a social issue.
Drug or substance abuse as it is also known is the excessive use of substances a good example is excessive use of drugs without medical justification and excessive consumption of alcohol. Talking about substance abuse is discussing about the use of illegal or psychoactive drugs. Any substance can be abused including coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, over the counter medications and prescriptions, solvents and inhalants. Most of these substances are taken for mind-altering purposes. Drug abuse has become a major problem in the society today as many adolescents and youths have become victims (Rogers and Goldstein, 2002).
Drug addiction depends on the addict’s social context. Social context is a determinant as to whether an individual can become a drug addict or not. Substance abuse is mainly brought up by how one interacts with the people around them and the social setting. A person can become an addict depending on the environment they are born and raised up in. If a child is raised in a social context that is prone to substance abuse, that child will end up being a drug addict because he/she will grow up with addicts and will learn their characters. An environment one grows up in greatly impacts their choices in life and most children will always copy what they see the people around them do. An addiction comes depending on family history, personal life and the environment one is raised up in (Duster, 1970).
Substance abuse is both a personal and public issue that needs to be looked at. There are many ethical concerns that arise due to substance abuse. Drug abuse can lead to unethical behaviors like rape, violence, stealing and risky sex which can later lead to unwanted pregnancies and abortion. Dug abuse can lead to the spread of HIV/AIDS since there is sharing of syringes among the addicts. In addition, it can also lead to sexual transmitted diseases since most addicts are reported to indulge in unprotected sex after taking the drugs since they are not always in their sober state of mind.
Regular substance abuse can cause harm both on the user and the people around them. Substance abuse leads to body and brain damage which can later lead to death. Many addicts have been reportedly harming themselves physically and most of them suffer from diseases brought about by excessive consumptions of drugs, diseases like liver problems, hepatitis A and B and they have a high risk on contacting blood borne diseases. Furthermore, some of them end up harming those people around them either physically or they sexually attack them.
The highest population that has been reported to be highly affected by substance abuse is the adolescents and the youth. Research shows that over 50% of youths in the U.S. are drug addicts. (Drug Abuse Facts and Statistics, 2011). In addition, research on monitoring the future done in 2010 indicates that, 48.2% of those in 12th grade have at least used illegal drugs at some point in their lives. Further research done by world health organization also reveals that 140 million people are alcohol dependent and 400 million more suffer from alcohol related problems.
In the U.S. the use of drugs is controlled by the Controlled Substance Act which was created in 1970. President Richard Nixon described substance abuse as a number one public enemy that needs to be fought. The state as a whole is determined to fight substance abuse by enacting laws against it and also laws that protect the young people from substance abuse (Lindesmith, 1965).
[City, State, Zip Code]
The Honorable [full name]
[City, State, Zip Code]
Dear Representative [or Senator] [insert last name]:
I am writing this letter as your constituent to urge you to support the substance abuse prevention bill that needs to be passed in the house. My main concern is to urge you to support and fund Chapter 43.270 RCW Community Mobilization against Substance Abuse legislature which is aimed at reducing substance abuse among the youth. This bill is very important as it will help curb drug/substance abuse in the society. Substance abuse has become a very big social problem in our society as many youths are dropping out of school because of this issue. I am a concerned university student who is tired of watching my fellow students from the universities, colleges and high school drop out of school because of substance abuse. Many of them indulge in unethical behaviors after dropping out of school and this makes them end up in rehabilitation centers while others in prison. There have been alarming cases on violence, rape and burglary in the community which is being executed by these young people due to drug abuse. The youths are very important in a country for they are tomorrow’s leaders and so I urge you to address this issue immediately as we are loosing most of them due to substance abuse.
Substance abuse has very adverse effects on the life of young people and if not addressed at an early age, most of them will end up in rehabilitation centers fighting with drug addiction. I am asking you to support this important piece of legislation since it will make a great difference in the lives of the people you serve. If this legislation is implemented, it will protect the youth from those selling them drugs and it will also prohibit all students from substance abuse, There will also be several educational programs in all learning institutions that will educate students on the short and long term effects of substance abuse and am fully assured that most of them will withdraw from it. In addition, if this legislation is passed, it will reduce substance abuse among the young people and our state will be free from this social issue.
I would also be glad if you kindly inform me of the actions you are planning to take on this matter so that I can mobilize the whole community to support you. Your support will highly be appreciated since it is vital to keep the youth and the community at large safe. Thanking you in advance as I wait for your prompt response.
[Insert your name]
Drug Abuse Facts and Statistics. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.drugabusehelp.com/statistics/
Rogers, P. and Goldstein, L. (2002). Drugs & your Kid. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
Duster, T. (1970). The Legislation of Morality. New York: Free Press.
Lindesmith, A., R. (1965). The Addict and the Law. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.