I chose the topic of “Positive and Negative Effects of Substance Abuse” because I am a psychology of substance abuse major. I was interested in how substances affect our society and I was willing to look at the subject in an unbiased manner. I felt that the media throws out all of the negative effects of substances to our society but not the benefits. I found that though there are negative effects to our society due to substance abuse, there are also benefits.
Substance abuse is hazardous to our health which drags down our society. There is a large portion of our country who struggle from addiction. These are the people who run our country, who make decisions that may impact our lives. Millions of people are killed each year from accidents caused by drunk drivers. The general population are overall unaware that substances are being abused all around us and in our everyday lives. Those who we would never expect may have a substance addiction. Substance abuse is such a well-kept secret in our country that the government spends millions every year trying to get a grasp on the problem and they make very little progress. However, in local communities illegal marijuana distribution is keeping local economies afloat. It has been said that marijuana is this nations biggest cash crop with corn following by a margin.
Everyone from all walks of life suffer from substance abuse. Our police officers, military, government employees, and those who serve public service positions. No matter where we are or what we are involved with there is a chance that an individual we are interacting with is under the influence of a controlled substance. It raises the question of our level of public safety.
Retrieved from http://www.timetotalk.org/downloads/Substance%20Abuse%20and%20American%20Families%20Today.pdf
There are negative and positive perspectives to every situation. Substance abuse is a threat to our society because of the strength of addiction. Those who are addicted will stop at nothing to get their fix. They will spend more to get what they want which means the dealer makes that much more money. It is my belief that the economic benefits have been noticed and therefore law enforcement agencies have not been pressured or sponsored enough to deal with the problem in an effective way. We have to remember that some of our politicians abuse substances as well.
There are many children who are born with mothers who have used harmful substances. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome may happen if a woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy. There are many birth defects that are a result of using substances like methamphetamines, cocaine, and heroin. The more children who are born with health problems the more expensive health care is. Also, a higher number a birth defects means that the number of individuals capable of leading a productive life is diminishing. It is important to have healthy babies in order for society to offer good quality of life for everyone.
From personal experience, every institution I have been employed at has had substance abuse problems. I have seen drugs being distributed and I have heard fellow employees state that they are under the influence of a controlled substance. I have seen every position from supervisor to dish washer blatantly abuse and distribute substances in the workplace. Work areas are dangerous. Other people’s lives are at risk because of fellow coworkers being under the influence of a controlled substance while at work. When drugs are at the workplace production decreases and mistakes increase.
Parents who abuse substances often experience side-effects like depression, fatigue, and a lack of motivation. These parents often cannot properly care for their child because they are wrapped up in their addiction. Those children are then neglected and abused as a result. It is important for parents to get sober when children are involved because children are very impressionable. It has been found that children who are raised by individuals who abuse substances are more likely to abuse substances themselves later in life. This is a downfall on society because children are the hope of an old problem like substance abuse being fixed. When they follow suit with their parents there becomes a pattern of abuse within families.
In conclusion, we need to be aware of the prevalence of substance abuse for our own personal safety. There are drunk drivers everywhere, and there are individuals under the influence of controlled substances everywhere. Those we would least expect may abuse substances. It seems to have become a societal norm for substance abuse to be so prevalent and it makes me wonder if everyone really is on drugs.
The answer is “yes” and “no”. <br />“YES” Abusing substances make us more prone for accidents which causes us to be a threat to society.<br />“NO” Purchasing substances impacts both the federal and local economy in a positive way.<br />“YES” Abusing substance is a health risk causing higher birth defects, lower quality of life, and a higher death rate.<br />“NO” Millions of dollars are spent each year on drug enforcement efforts.<br />Does substance abuse have a negative influence on our society?<br />
Everyone.<br />Individuals from all economic statuses suffer from addiction.<br />Elderly individuals are more susceptible to substance abuse because their age group has a higher rate for depression and terminal illness. <br />Adolescents are very susceptible because it has been shown that those who abuse substances in adolescence continue throughout their life.<br />67% out of 1,000 human resource professionals have stated that substance abuse is one of the most serious problems in the workplace. (Bouchard, 2007) <br />Who is abusing substances in our society?<br />
Substance Abuse and American Families Today<br />Addiction knows no demographic boundaries and touches all sectors of society.<br />22.6 million Americans are addicted to drugs or alcohol. (Source: SAMHSA, NSDUH,<br />2006).<br />This is the single greatest preventable health problem in the United States. (Source:<br />Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)<br />There are 35 million American families with children at risk of abusing drugs and<br />alcohol. (Source: U.S. Census 2000, parents with children ages 9 -17)<br />In 2004, 14-1/2 was the average age when teens first used an illegal drug. (Source:<br />NSDUH 2005 report)<br />Kids who learn about the risks of drugs from their parents are up to 50 percent<br />less likely to use drugs, yet only 31 percent report learning a lot from their parents.<br />(Source: Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, 2005)<br />Three quarters of teens/young adults (ages 13-24) surveyed said their parents make<br />them happy and almost half, when asked to name their hero, named their parents.<br />And when asked the open-ended question “What one thing in life makes you most<br />happy,” 46 percent cited spending time with family members and friends. (MTV<br />Survey, 2007)<br />
Health treatments for those who have abused substances and are affected by health conditions can take away from state-funded healthcare programs like Medicaid.<br />Selling drugs helps the local and federal economy because the buyers are everyday people who pay taxes. They put their money in the dealer’s pocket, the dealer makes profit and pays their rent, for gas, etc. It’s a vicious circle, but it does benefit our society in an economic perspective.<br />How substance abuse effects our federal and local economies<br />
A video on the local marijuana trade in Mendocino County, California: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/28778304#28778304<br />The Emerald Triangle<br />
Children who are exposed to harmful substances while in utero are more likely to have serious health risks, to be still born, and to become substance abusers later in life.<br />This effects our society because children who are born with health problems are less likely to succeed and their families are usually burdened with physician costs which in turn drags down our society. <br />Children who are born with physical and mental defects due to substance abuse exposure in utero start life without a fair advantage. <br />Prenatal Exposure to Substance Abuse<br />
According to Bouchard (2007), “67% out of 1,000 human resource professionals have stated that substance abuse is one of the most serious problems in the workplace.”<br />More dangerous jobs need to have a better method of drug screening.<br />Drugs in the workplace can be a safety hazard.<br />Drug distribution can cause coworkers to go against each other and be unproductive.<br />It is the manager’s responsibility to notice any employee who may be under the influence on their shift.<br />Substance Abuse at the Workplace<br />
Substance abuse brings out the worst in people, especially parents.<br />Parents who have an addiction may not be able to feed their child because they are spending all their money on their addiction.<br />Drugs can have negative side-effects like rage & depression. Children often get caught in the wrath of their parent’s withdrawal symptoms.<br />How Substance Abuse Relates to Child Abuse<br />
It is important that we as a society understand that substance abuse is all around us. <br />Some of us are aware of the prevalence of substance abuse, but we consider it a “normal” part of life.<br />Abusing controlled substances inhibits us from being able to be a pro-active part of society.<br />The Relevance of Substance Abuse Awareness<br />
Bouchard, Jim. (2007) Substance Abuse at Work: Addiction and Substance Abuse Are Most Serious Unaddressed Workplace Issues. Retrieved October 23, 2009 from http://business.mainetoday.com/smallbusiness/crossroads/014679.html<br />Regan, Trish. (2009) Marijuana Growers Thrive in California: Cash Crop Now Accounts For Two-Thirds of Mendocino County Economy. Retrieved October 23, 2009 from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28354324/.<br />References:<br />
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