Drug abuse is negative societal trend that has a devastating effect on your health, your family and the society as a whole. It is characterized by the destructive, erratic consumption of any synthetic or natural drug without medical supervision for performance enhancement. Drug abuse becomes the more aggressive form of dependence “drug addiction” when the abuser can only survive and maintain emotional or physical equilibrium while using the drug in question.
Drug Abuse Effects on The Abuser
There are tons of damaging effects that drug abuse exerts on the psychological, physical and mental well being of the abuser. Some of these effects appear immediately (short-term) while others take years and years to pile up (long-term). Drug abuse effects differ from one drug to the other. Among the drug abuse effects on the brain are:
- Changing the brain chemistry: Almost all addictive drugs activate the brain’s pleasure center.
- Paranoia, severe depression or suicidal thoughts (cocaine, amphetamine).
- Marked sleepiness and delirium.
- Slowed breathing (heroin, sedative-hypnotic drugs).
- Rapid heartbeat (cocaine).
- Tremors and seizures (alcohol).
What Drug Abuse Does To Family Members
Whether the abuser is the breadwinner of the family or just a member of a large family, drug abuse has a distinct effect on his/her family structure.
– In case of a parent abusing drug: Children would mainly be the victim. They might grow too fast from having to fill in the gaps that their parents left while abusing the substance. They would act as surrogate spouses for this parent. They would also be in denial of the gravity of their situation in order to protect themselves from it. When these children grow up, some of them severe ties with their drug addict parent due to feeling abandoned or hurt in their childhoods.
– In case of an offspring who abuses drugs: As the parents age, they become too dependent on their drug abusing son or daughter, hindering the natural maturation process for them and for the offspring. Other parents may showcase feelings of anxiety, depression, anger or guilt. At some point, they might feel the need to legally protect themselves from their drug addict offspring due to the destructive behavior that he/she develops over years.
The main problem of a family with a drug addict at its center is inconsistent and inadequate structure. Roles are reversed. Needs are not answered. Kids don’t get enough attention and the overall mood of the family is negative. There is also no solid ground on which to define what is right and what is wrong.
How Drug Abuse Impacts Society
Societal impact is one of the most dangerous consequences of an increased rate of drug abuse. The economic cost of drug abuse treatment might cause governments millions and millions of dollars.
– Drug abuse substantially leads to chronic illness, mental illness and ultimately death. It also increases transmission rate of life-threatening diseases like HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C due to needle-sharing injection drug use. The cost of treatment for these illnesses lies on the shoulders of the government. In 2003, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that over 100,000 of the AIDS patients living in the U.S. acquired the syndrome via injection drug use.
– There is also an economic impact to drug abuse. Organizations and companies where employees abuse drugs are affected when their employees steal cash or equipment to cover for the expenses of their addiction. Some companies might also have their reputations at stake if a drug addict is discovered between its employees, putting the company name at risk even when that individual is fired.
– The economic impact of drug abuse severely burdens local government agencies as well as local support groups, rehabilitation centers and hospitals. Millions of dollars are spent on covering up for the damages that the individual who abuses drug has done for himself/herself or for the society, especially due to recurrent phases of relapse.
– It is commonly known that abuse of drugs leads to criminal activity. According to the Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCRP) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2009, about 60% of individuals who were arrested for diverse types of felonies tested positive for illicit drug use.