Essay Sample: Issues Affecting Addicts, their Families, and Society

Published: 2022-11-04
Essay Sample: Issues Affecting Addicts, their Families, and Society
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Drug abuse Social issue
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1760 words
15 min read

Primarily, addiction is the condition in which an individual utilize a substance or getting used to specific behavior for which the repercussions or the rewarding effects culminate into a compulsive and compelling incentive to pursue the behavior repeatedly despite the detrimental consequences (Petry, 2016). Sufficient evidence from critical researches ascertains that addictive biochemical substances and behaviors share a fundamental neurobiological feature of intensive activation of brain pathways of reinforcement and reward that occasionally involve dopamine as the neurotransmitter. Globally, in 2016 it is estimated that approximately 164 million people drug or alcohol addicts. Moreover, around 68 percent of those with substance disorders globally estimated to be 111 million are male. Biochemical substances addiction is considered a social vise since it is attributed to many social issues and problems in the society (Koob, Arends, & Le, 2014). Therefore, this paper underscores a critical discussion on the issues and effects of addiction to both the individual and the family at large.

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In trying to understand addiction plethora of myths and misconceptions have come into play; nonetheless, the processes that lead to addictive behavior only resist a simplistic explanation. Addiction always used interchangeably with drug and substance abuse since both are related and interconnected. Although the causes of addiction are sometimes genetic, other biological factors also predispose an individual to the condition. Psychological, environmental and many social factors have a significant influence on drug and substance use. In addition, personal characteristics or features such as the inability to withstand strong feelings or distress are linked to addition (Henderson, 2000).

According to Zhang, Shi, & Tao, (2017), Eastern Europe is one of the leading regions with a high prevalence of substance use disorders with an approximate estimate of 5-6 percent. Meaning, in a group of 20 people in this region one person is suffering from substance dependency. Similarly, across Central and Western Europe, Oceania and America, this prevalence is relatively lower and typically ranges from 2-5 percent. Significantly, the studies on gender differences reveal that in every country this prevalence is much higher in men than in women. In 2016, globally, the total deaths because of the direct consequences of substance use disorder stood around 318,000. In the world, as a share of the 'disease burden,' the deaths caused by substances use disorders accounts for 1-5percent of the total deaths. For instance, in the American society, the share stands over 5 percent of the total deaths in the country.

Substance addiction is an individual problem that can have adverse social as well as economic issues on the single user, the user's immediate surrounding and the community as a whole. The drugs and substance addiction adverse effects on the sociological concepts and pillars such as culture, gender, interaction, socialization, class, race, and global justify biochemicals substances consumption as a personal and public issue. It is worthwhile noting that, despite the induced feelings of failure as well as a sense of despondency that addiction inculcates to the victims, they may not be aware of the significant problems happening to themselves and others because to some extent the substances affect their brain's executive function.

Effects of Biochemical Substance Addiction and Behavioral Addiction

According to the UNODC, approximately more 164 million people suffer from illicit or illegal drug use disorders among which one in a total of four deaths are attributed to tobacco, alcohol and other illegal drug use. Furthermore, around 21 million people around the world inject themselves with drugs. The effects of addiction can be classified broadly as behavioral and substance addiction ((Zhang, Shi, & Tao, 2017). Addiction is primarily a form of the disease. Thus it poses numerous adverse consequences not only to an individual's professional life, physical life, and we-being but also to the victim's family and society. In as much as other substance and alcohol consumption starts as voluntary behavior, addiction induces chemical changes in the brain that influence memory, the perception of pleasure and pain as well as behavior. More vividly, a conscious decision making graduates into a compulsive action that sets in financial, social, and severe health problems in a substance user.

Alcohol and other Biochemical Substances Addiction

Alcohol and other substances consumption such as nicotine, heroin, barbiturates, and cocaine have significant bearing to the adverse health effects to the consumer and the surrounding. Alcohol is one of the highly addictive substances with many detrimental consequences to both the user and society. In addition to the adverse socio-economic effects, that alcohol consumptions into more socia health problem especially to the user. Significant number of professionals agree to the fact that addictive substances especially Alcohol have harmful effect on every organ in the human body. Therefore, among the diseases affecting people, alcohol is linked to more than illness achieved in series meta-analyses of recent past.

Substance use addicted individual suffer from many adverse consequences. Health effects make the more significant percentage of these consequences. Prolonged substance abuse together with compulsive cravings results into not only into adverse impacts to the individual physical body but also his or her surroundings. Some severe health but physical effects of substance abuse include hormone imbalance, Organ damage, Prenatal and fertility issue, Organ damage, gastrointestinal disease, and HIV/AIDS. Also, emotional and neurological effects of substance use include Aggression, Paranoia, Mood swings, Psychosis, Depression, and Memory loss. In the life of an individual, addiction also has some legal consequences, and they include lengthy jail terms, large fines as well as probation and driver's license suspension in many countries. The victims also suffer from socio-economic problems such as job loss, divorce, accident, homicide, grave illness, accident, relationship changes between family members and friends.

Intoxication issue is one of the consequential adverse dimensions of addictive substances that mediate acute outcomes of deaths and intentional injuries, conflict, violence, accidents, and various socio-economic issues. Alcohol and substances dependency or addiction stand as one of the robust mechanism of sustaining alcohol and other biochemical substances that makes substance abuse and addiction quite cumbersome and impossible to do away with alcohol. Addiction of biochemical substances perpetuates in the life an individual the many and various substances use disorders. For instance, in a case where alcohol is consumed between meals for health purposes the consumption is relatively low unlike the scenario in countries with a large intake of pure alcohol.

Psychological and mental issues, consequently, the victim's family members and society undergo a lot of physical, mental, as well as emotional suffering. In the case of the death or loss of a drug and substance addict, bereaved family mourn in gross pain, the rest of them as the close relative mourns in great agony for losing their loved one. Alcohol being a drug just as others such as cocaine, heroin and nicotine, upon consumption, alters the body function and thoughts. Nicotine is the mostly consumed drug in the US (Verster, 2012). In most cases, the consumer of high drugs such as cannabis sativa and marijuana become defiant and violent and in involved in the destruction of their property as well as that of the family members, which always culminate into domestic violence.

Many cases of mental illnesses are linked to the alcohol and other substances dependence or addiction, both in the general population and in clinical. This condition of mental illness because of heavy alcohol and substance consumption is mainly because of the severe depression the victims go through. The mentally ill individuals are known to be violent less productive and violent in society (Madras & Kuhar, 2013). As if that is not enough, the alcohol and substance such as heroin addicts are also economically less productive. The substantial number of heavy intake drunkards are a jobless, less educated and low class.

The social class issue, addiction, and use of drug and substances highlights another social vice referred to as social class and segregation, the many different expensive and chaep brands alienates or separate peope in the society based on the type and size of brands their money can buy. There are some peculiar and expensive types of alcohol mainly speculated for the wealthy, these kind of drinks are safe and quality since they have undergone through proper processing and through intoxication unlike low quality which goes for low prices as well.

Low-quality alcohols have contributed significantly to increase the rate morbidity as well as mortality across the countries on the globe. Many of the low-quality alcohols and biochemical substances have not undergone proper and thorough distillation process, and if undergone, processing has some traces of impending harmful substances that culminates illness to low-class people.

Social crimes issues, on a wider scale, alcoho consumption and subtances addiction have contributed to the erosion of many cultural rituals believes and customs - furthermore, addiction also affects the socialization of the drug and substance as well as immediate surrounding meaning, the relationship of the individual with the family or the community at large is impaired. The manifestation of the thwarting of these elements of society is well demonstrated in the following statements. Studies reveal that many cases of handgun and violent crimes year in year out are related to alcohol and substance use and the many murder cases in American society. Other anti-social such as rape alongside with these criminal activities, is also perpetuated by the personal trouble of drinking alcohol and use of drugs. Significant number of rape cases close to half in global society are primarily linked one way or another to substance and drug use. Such incidences propagate hetrade, fear and bad blood result into frequent conficts which that weakens and eradicates pillars of cohession and intergration in the society.

Social and moral decadence issue, Heavy Alcohol, and substances intake, addiction in other words, also propagate anti-social behaviors such as child abuse mostly on the from the mother's side before birth and after. Individually, heavy alcohol consumption for instance during the postnatal period posses uncertain outcomes to the life of the fetus, a condition known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), fetal alcohol syndrome as other acute congenital anomalies. Also, the child abuse phenomena now on the side of a drunkard or drug addict fathers are much worse several times more that of the mothers.

Notably, frequent domestic violence is experienced more frequently in many of those families where fathers are substance addict or drunkards. Most of the domestic violence is always intense with a good number resulting in divorce, living the children homeless. In addition, the use of addictive drugs is one of the primary perpetrators of the spread of epidemic and pandemic diseases mostly sexually transmitted infections (STIs) HIV/AIDS as an example.

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