Drug Abuse as a Social Problem, Free Essay for Everyone

Published: 2022-10-14
Drug Abuse as a Social Problem, Free Essay for Everyone
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Drug abuse
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1856 words
16 min read

According to Spradley, during the formulation of descriptive observations the most obvious question that comes in mind is "what is going on here?" and all observations are influenced by the issues in an ethnographer's mind (2016). The major questions that arise include the following; what are the effects of drugs on health? How do these drugs affect society? And what are the effects of drug abuse on society? Alcohol and drug abuse have been a severe issue with the employers lately, and many of the employers have had to tackle the problem of drug abuse. The medical marijuana has now been permitted by most of the states, and this has become a problem for the employers. It includes different scenarios such as drinking during the work hours, a few hours before the work or drinking a day heavily before work. This situation results in absenteeism from the workplace or poor decision making. Drug abuse can also impact the customer relations involving the employee and can affect the company financially. The primary impact has been on the productivity of the employees.

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Employees who are under the influence of drugs have low efficiency. These workers end up making more mistakes as they don't pay attention to the minor details related to work hence, performing inconsistently (Orcutt, & Rudy, 2003). It can be even more dangerous as it increases the accident proneness. The safety standards might prove ineffective when the employee is working and can also lead to fatal accidents and premature death. In Social Services, parental drug abuse represents billions of dollars in the country's youngster welfare spending, and most aggressive behavior at home includes alcohol or different drug issues these families are confronting. Billions of dollars are being spent on low wage accommodation for people with drug and alcohol abuse issues, nourishment stamps, money help, health protection, and crisis on housing if you qualify. We are confronted with our friends and family and the friends and family of others overdosing or being taken in deadly auto collisions or notwithstanding biting the dust because of their addictions

Drug abuse plays a significant role in causing societal problems. It is a significant health problem that affects society in a myriad of ways. Drug-related problems are so rampant in society whereby it is affected either directly or indirectly (Lameman, 2009). Every community that tolerates a drug user feels the impact in significant ways that are unprecedented. The drugs take toll of the society with time such that containing it becomes a crisis. Drug abuse can lead to homelessness, crime, school truancy, and problems with keeping up with the demands of the job. Unemployment follows soon afterward which is a social problem on its own. Therefore, drug abuse produces a chain of issues that have a ripple effect on the community as a whole. This document outlines reasons supporting drug abuse to be a social problem (Lameman, 2009). This situation is achievable by using several sources which support this claim.

An article by Beth Lameman in the Chicago Tribune confirms this assertion (2009). Despite affecting the abuser, drug abuse also affects people that they interact with on a daily basis. The family members, in particular, are affected straightforwardly. It goes beyond the abuse stages to the recovery period where the whole family invests a lot of time and resources to salvage a situation. It creates personal problems with the family members. Some of the social issues that come up include jealousy, conflict with partner and children. In addition to that, disputes often arise because of money since the user struggles economically. One may lose a job thus forcing the abuser to make poor financial choices.

Using drugs often results in other extreme problems like violence and fighting. The violence comes in the form of slapping family members and hitting and smashing objects onto other people. Since the drug user has become a nuisance to the society, they consider the separation to have their own time to do the vices as they wish. This social problem has affected many people especially the youth who have to deal with life disappointments which come in the form of money and employment. As a result, the user's life undergoes a paradigm shift since they have to experience life in a very different way. Change in the lifestyle subsequently changes patterns in the family since the user develops a likelihood of being addicted and influencing the children as a result. On the other hand, children find a fertile environment where they can use drugs without restrictions (Lameman, 2009).

Orcutt & Rudy outlined the major themes in the issue of drugs and alcohol abuse (2003). While many people view drinking as a means of enjoying themselves, they fail to look at the matter from a different perspective. They fail to note that drug abuse breeds immoral behavior like a crime that threatens the social order and well-being. As a result, it poses severe threats to the individual. The problems are a result of individual disorder and pathology in the sociological perspective. Emphasis is placed on the effect of drug abuse on social relationships and cultural influences. The authors note that there are various activities and that have been brought about by prohibitionists and drug control agencies who have identified a definite link between drug abuse and public problems (Orcutt & Rudy, 2003).

Social evils like the break-up of families and widespread violence is a result of the drugs and alcohols which have infiltrated into the fabric of the society. Mood altering substances create social disorder. It is for this reason that social scientists have found a definite link between drug abuse to social problems. Drug abuse is itself a social problem. The book notes that some of the social issues that come up due to drug abuse include but are not limited to criminal behavior, HIV infection and prevalence, and spouse abuse. Spouse abuse is a recurring theme that is directly a result of the damage of the families involved. The simplistic nature of drugs is a root source of many social evils which are unpreventable in the long run (Occurt and Rudy, 2003).

Information sourced from the National Institute on Drug Use and the CDC indicates that there are a high number of adolescents in the United States who abuse drugs (Journal of Addiction, 2013). The two organizations have found out that drug use can be linked to a variety of social problems among them a more significant risk of transmission of sexually transmitted infections, accidents, detentions, juvenile delinquencies and destruction of relationships. Given the adolescent brain's immature nature, most of them find themselves in situations where they find it hard to make effective decisions due to lack of experience. Decision-making ability is limited in adolescents since they depend on their families for everything including finances to buy the drugs. The societal effects of substance abuse in adolescents can be linked to other problems like theft and crime to finance their drugs and substances. The matter cannot be tied down to the teens since they will grow into adults where they will be required to make decisions on their own feet without depending on the shoulders of their parents.

Adolescents mainly abuse marijuana and over the counter drugs for non-medicinal uses. Due to the potential of sharing needles, the prevalence of HIV spread and infection is very high. Substance dependence has been linked to disorder trends since the teens engage in activities that force them to look for the drugs irrespective of the situations. This situation is a perfect breeding ground for evils such as theft and crime. As it can be seen, the effects of substance abuse are categorized into the family, social and individual factors which have a unique interconnection (Journal of Addiction, 2013).

The social development report for the world summit held in Copenhagen in 1995 focused on the social aspects of drug abuse (World Bank, 1993). Reviewed by the United Nations inter-agency group, they examined the social and economic impacts of drug abuse. As compared to other social problems, drug use is different in that it exerts an irresistible influence on the individual to engage in activities that have a connection to drugs. Drug abuse affects not only the brain processes but also individual behavior. With time the abuser becomes a nuisance to the family as a whole. When the family no longer holds onto the pressure of the user, the person affects the community around in a myriad of ways including being a threat to the peaceful coexistence of the people (World Bank, 1993).

Drug abuse is a social problem because it is illegal and is associated with social problems like treating drug dependence on locking down drug offenders. Drug dependence is linked to many other issues which are unavoidable in the long run (Orcutt & Rudy, 2003). Tolerance is the first things which often develops from repeated use of the drug which leads the body to develop ways to compensate for the drug. The body system undergoes a state of imbalance. Secondly, the chemical imbalance that comes up due to consistent drug use causes withdrawal symptoms. When the use of the drug is suddenly stopped, the user gets significantly affected. The third and most dangerous effect of the drug is psychological dependence which is characterized by the high dependence of the drug and a craving for it in case its use is limited. From a biophysical perspective, drug abuse causes many vices which are related to dysfunctions in personality and day to day social interactions. The primary concern for drug abuse is the crime.

Drugs like marijuana and cocaine produce criminal behavior which is premised on using drugs. The main reason for engaging in crime is not that the drugs make them to be criminals but to look for money to fund their operations. It is for that reason that law enforcement agencies have come up with laws to curb drug abuse. They are legitimately based on a social perspective of addressing the problem in the society (Borsari and Carey, 2001).

From the social point of view, the problem of drug abuse can be addressed when the drug is not seen as a problem but the individuals behind the schemes. People must understand that drugs have the power to shift the consciousness with the aim of achieving the ultimate human desire. Education should be mandatory on the effects of drugs on the societal level. There are drugs which are safe while there are others which pose more harm to an individual and the society as a whole. Using drugs intelligently should be an overriding theme in everyday conversations.


Borsari, B., & Carey, K. B. (2001). Peer influences on college drinking: A review of theresearch. Journal of substance abuse, 13(4), 391-424.

Journal of Addiction. (2013, March 20). Familial, Social, and Individual Factors Contributing to Risk for Adolescent Substance Use. Retrieved from Https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jad/2013/579310/

Lameman, B. A. (2009, September 16). Effects of Substance Abuse on Families. Retrieved from http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-health-addiction-families-story.html

Orcutt, J. D., & Rudy, D. R. (Eds.). (2003). Drugs, alcohol, and social problems. Rowman &Littlefield.

Spradley, J. P. (2016). Participant observation. Long Grove Waveland Press.

World Bank. (1993). World development report, Oxford University Press. Table 19.

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