Drug addiction amongst adults in American is wreaking America’s future. Causing adults to: become a burden on social welfare programs, neglectful of their children, and unproductive, creating turmoil in nearly all neighborhoods across America in one form or another.
Drug use among adults not only causes a strain on society financially, but also brings violence and crime to towns and cities that were once considered sleepy. Adult drug users pose the biggest threat to our society. From their addiction comes the violence that comes from the gangs that are peddling the drugs (in some cases using the addicts own children to peddle the drugs for them). There also comes broken homes, neglected children, and the cost of financing that addiction. Drugs do not just harm the user; they harm the user’s whole community.
Causes of Adult drug use.
Unemployment is not only a symptom of adult drug use but a cause. Someone who was once a provider, a bread winner, begins to feel depresses and useless. It is very easy to pick up a drug habit while under the stress of being unemployed. Also too having no one to be accountable can create a feeling of “why not”. Poverty is another cause of drug use, the strain of not making ends meet, creates the need to feel satisfaction, even if it is not real satisfaction.
The addiction to the drug itself is a major cause of the problem. Once someone uses, it is hard not to use again, addiction comes very easy. It becomes easier to use then to not use. And once an adult is an addict, getting help sometimes comes with a price, such as losing your children, your job, your reputation, and your freedom.
Dealers are another cause for addiction, dealers enter neighborhoods and will seek out those kids who are poor, and do not come from money and make dealing seem like the only way to make it in life. Those kids push the drugs to other kids, as well as adults in the neighborhoods. The drugs flow with ease throughout most American neighborhoods. If the drugs are easy to get, more adults are apt to use and use often.
Biologically speaking drug use is fixing or hurting an imbalance in the users mind and body. The drugs replace the biological chemicals the body makes to create the high. The reason some people are prone to drug use is because they have a chemical imbalance. That chemical imbalance could produce a number of outcomes, including and not limited to depression, anxiety and even in some cases pain. Drugs are used by these people to self medicate and create an artificial feeling of being ok (Comer SD). That feeling comes with a high price of a lack of productivity, and even an imbalance that causes dysfunction in mobile, and cognitively skills.
“Over 60% of people in drug rehabilitation centers report being abused or neglected as a child. About 80% of 21 year old that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder. Children who have been sexually abused are 3.8 times more likely develop drug addictions.” (childhelp)
Consequences of Drug addiction in adults.
Recently in Port Huron there has been a horrific child abuse case that splattered the cover of our local paper daily. A three year old little angle was brutally killed. The child had proven to be neglected, and tortured for months before her death. The parents were charged amongst other things with possession of an illegal substance. It does not go to say that the drugs cause the abuse, or the death of the little girl, but studies link drug use to neglect and child abuse easily because of the number of cases in which there is a linkage.
Many of the children that are saved from abusive or neglected homes, had care givers that were drug addicts. Those adults who become drug addicts are normally unable to handle responsibilities like raising a child, or going to work. Having a lasting relationship often falls wayside to finding the next fix.
Adult drug addiction cost children their parents, and their child hood. Adult drug addiction leads often to crime, which then cost the states money to house the criminals as well as the expense to get them clean. Adult drug addicts cost the government money in way that they usually are the ones that need a hand out, and hardly take it as a hand up.
Drug addiction leads to crime, death, poverty and economical failure. As the drug Meth sweeps our nation more cities are falling to the harsh reality that Meth is worse then any plague. Children being nearly abandoned property values falling, as the adults waste away to the corrosion of the drug that will kill them in years. If something is not done quickly a whole town could go under due to the adult use of crystal meth.
“Adults who used illicit drugs were twice as likely to have serious mental illness (SMI) as
adults who did not use an illicit drug. Among adults who used an illicit drug in the past
year, 16.6 percent had SMI during that period, while among adults who did not use an illicit
drug the rate of SMI was 6.1 percent.” (OAS pg 12)
Statistics on drug use
There are statistics from hospitals, as well as the government, local state, and federal agency. There is data that tells us that drug abuse is a big cause of neglect and abuse of children. There is data that tells us about the deaths and near deaths that drugs have caused in time frames from years to months. There is data that tells us that drugs are on the decline, although Meth use is on the rise and is spreading from CA to the east (National).
There are Millions who seek treatment annually. Out of 37 million users in the poverty level only 17% that needed treatment, received treatment (whitehouse). Drugs are a cause of violence and crime. Drugs, like Meth, cause hardships on the community, on the family, and on the future generations. A high percentage of children who have been raised by adult drug users become drug users themselves (NCSACW). Drug related suicides, and medical emergency are at a all time high.
Why drug abuse exist
There are many theories as to why people become drug addicts. Depression due to economical repression is on excuse found. Some believe that biologically some are more prone to abusing drugs then others, while others believe that drug addiction is entirely environmental. (ChenL)
Biologically the motivation could be understood. A narcoleptic has a physical need for a stimulant to keep themselves alert and awake doing the day when they are working, going to school, or trying to raise a family. The same medication given to a non narcoleptic would have a different effect, and would be in biologic excess to what their body needs.
Biologically each person has a chemical imbalance of some type, there are many different natural chemicals that can fix that imbalance. Perhaps if an addict found their imbalance and used chemical therapy correctly under dr. supervision, we would not have such an epidemic on our hands.
Drug abuse as society’s stumbling block
As far as politics goes, America has two fronts of politics, one being nationally, the other being foreign. Laws are made on both state and federal level. There are departments that are on the forefront of the battle over drug use. Nationally the stance is weakened due to some states wanting to weaken laws when it comes to certain substances. While those states can change how the enforce their laws, they do not have the ability to change federal laws.
Federally there is more concern in fighting the smuggling and the importation of the drugs that are seeping onto the streets. The concern is the drug lords in other countries, where the legality of the substance that are forbidden here, is questioned. Other countries have lost their war on drugs, and the drug lords seem to run the economy. Mexico is a scary front in this war, as there are innocent people kidnapped, ransomed, and killed over drugs. Fighting the smuggling from other countries is walked on a fine line between war and helping that country get rid of the violence that deters democracy.
With the economy being as tuff as it is, many addict have a hard time getting help, being that it is costly and there is not much as far as help the government give to drug addicts. Most do not want to come forward to receive aid to go to rehab in fear of losing their families, or their welfare.
One fact is, that many of those on unemployment are in fact drug users, and will let the unemployment exhaust before quitting the dope to find a job. This type of behavior cost our government a lot of money and resources and should be looked at closely.
Adult drug use hits small town America with a force worst the Katrina. Leaving families and neighborhoods devastated. Adult addiction leaves towns to struggle with an unproductive adult force, and children who run amuck wit out proper supervision, often neglected, often abused. Adult addiction can cause joblessness, which leads to foreclosure and homelessness. Adult addiction can lead to their children failing school, which when there is a community plagued with adult addiction leads to school closure.
Towns do not have citizens that are bringing in a taxable income, so towns cannot thrive. People lose their homes, those homes do not get purchased, and cities like Port Huron become overwhelmed with rental units. Port Huron has looked into the problems that come with too many rental units, describing the effects of this to be unsightly neighborhoods. When drug use is high, drug dealers move into the neighborhoods abundantly, taking over the adult roles in the youngster’s lives. The youngsters become their gofers, and start dealing to get a little extra cash. This causes little gangs to start popping up, and violence between youth becomes more common. Juvenile delinquency stems off into many issues, including high school dropout rates and teen pregnancy.
Once a community is affected by adult drug use, the disease spreads to the state. The state has to deal with over crowed jails and prisons, failing schools, welfare cost, and lack of taxable income. As the problem grows to the federal level, there are foreign politics to be looked at. Finding where the drugs are coming from, and trying to stop the flow of drugs onto our streets has been a battle that has a unforeseeable end. Dealing with the politics of other countries leads to war, which leads to poverty, if we do not go to war, there is war inside of the countries themselves. Many of these countries that the drugs come from are ran by drug lords, who use fear and murder to control everyone from the citizens to the government.
Our government can try to help those countries gain control, but so far it has been futile. So far our intercession has caused more deaths, more mayhem, and more bloodlust. We cannot just shut our borders to the world, and we cannot let the smuggling occur. We can offer our support to other countries, but the flood will not cease. And now we have drugs that are manufactured out of cleaning products here in our own towns.
Adult drug use affects our homes, our neighborhoods, our towns, our states, our country; Adult drug use affects the entire world. The end of adult drug use is a battle that needs to be fought on the micro level. If we can teach our kids not to even start the use, then perhaps future generations have a chance.
What Can Be Done
Intervention and treatment is a very important tool to the end of adult drug use. Creating a safe environment in which adults won’t have to fear repercussions of seeking treatment is important. Drug testing those who receive welfare and unemployment is also another method of ending adult drug use.
Getting medical treatment to those who are self medicating for mental disabilities is also important.
Those who self medicate need the opportunity to be given the proper medication for the chemical imbalance that they have. Medical care is a very important aspect to ending addiction.
One controversial idea to ending the “war” on heavy drugs like crack, heroin and cocaine is to legalize Cannabis. Mexico has asked the USA to look into this, creating a deal with the drug lords so that the harder drugs can be kept out, if the importation of Cannabis becomes legal. There are many who think this will work, believing that making a deal like this will create a taxable product that is less harmful then what is on the streets. Others feel that it would be a negotiation with terrorist. Mexican leaders have pleaded that we the USA think about this as an option, promising that flooding the streets with the natural cannabis will dry out all other substances. There needs to be higher accountability, to those who receive aid that is the first step
A solution that is highly controversial is to expand the pharmaceutical market. Create a medicine that reacts to the mind and body the way the favorite drugs do, and give them to addicts. These new drugs would make the addicts mind and body think that the high is being achieved, while fixing the chemical imbalance that is in need of that drug to begin with.
This will wipe out drug use since it will be safer, less costly to the addict, and then curing painlessly. They have products similar to what I am talking about, it is a science, its not impossible. Curing drug addiction ends the drug war, and the decline of family and society. The only way this works is on large scale, and done free of cost to the addicts themselves.
Adult drug use is poison to our society, and drug addiction can easily be combated with chemical warfare on addiction itself. There is high skepticism that the government needs drug addicts in order to be able to create laws and hold authority above what they use to have. It is a known fact that addiction can be cure safely and painlessly, it is just a matter of what comes at a higher cost. Does it cost more to cure all addictions, or does it cost more to fight the war on drugs. Does the government want the war on drugs in order to have more control?
These are questions that should be answered, because the cure is there, and isn’t being used due to cost. Strategically there would have to be medical reform, and the government would have to step up and begin helping the uninsured. The uninsured make up most of the drug addict’s population. Then get them into the doctor and let the doctors work the angle that they have a better high, at no cost with no adverse side effects. It may be a “pipe dream” but the tools to make happen are there.
There is nothing more disgraceful then a drug addict at rock bottom and our country is overrun with the adult drug abusers who are at, if not near rock bottom. Science can help, reform can help but stalling a solution with legislation and filibusters will only cause more to fall way to addiction.
References and research
http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/publications/factsht/druguse/ “U.S. Department of Defense:
Bray, R.M., et al., 1995 Department of Defense Survey of Health-Related Behavior Among Military Personnel, Research Triangle Institute, December 1995.
Bray, R.M., et al., 1998 Department of Defense Survey of Health-Related Behavior Among Military Personnel, Research Triangle Institute, April 1999.
National Survey Results on Drug Use from the Monitoring the Future Study, 1975-1994, 1996, 1997, 2000, and 2001. http://monitoringthefuture.org/pubs.html#monographs
University of Michigan, Press release on “Monitoring the Future,” December 18, 1997.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Population Estimates, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1996.
Results from the 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. August 2002: Volume I. Summary of National Findings:
www.oas.samhsa.gov/nhsda/2k1nhsda/PDF/cover.pdf Volume II. Technical Appendices and Selected Data Tables: www.oas.samhsa.gov/nhsda/2k1nhsda/PDF/vol2cover.pdf
ADAM Brochure, BC-588, Fall 1997. www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/adam.pdf
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