Drug abuse is a dilemma that cuts across all social strata’s of people’s lives. It is a problem that many countries continue to grapple with in the quest of ensuring that it is managed. Various factors contribute to the escalation of drug abuse in various facets of the society. For instance, poor prescription of medicine by physicians and other unqualified practitioners contributes to poor dosages that result to drug abuse. Other contributors to drug abuse are easy accessibility to drugs such as cocaine, heroin and other substances that affect the normal function of a person’s mental capacity. People engage themselves with drugs for different reasons ranging from, stress, financial freedom, need for recognition, biological factors and peer pressures among many other reasons. Unfortunately, the repercussions of drug abuse has been devastating leading to deaths, mental breakdown, and even engagement into various criminal acts among many other awful acts that the society forbids. Due to the broadness of the topic, this paper will incline its discussions on some of the causes, effects and possible solutions to the problem of drug abuse through its literature reviews. Drug abuse has huge costs in terms of its management, mental health costs, and drug abuse treatment costs of the affected people’s, which transcends or leads to other associate problem.
According to, French and Martin (1996) society continues to spend colossal sums of money in managing the drug abuse menace. Some of the costs in relations to the drug abuse consequences include the medical services costs that are incurred in the treatment of the drug abuse victims. These costs are huge and cost the government and the responsible people a lot. Other costs incurred because of drug abuse include the crime related costs, costs incurred in providing special education and the early intervention costs, mental health problems and associated costs of providing assistance to family members of those affected by abuse of drugs.
According to Cartwright (2007) drug abuse has costs that are related to financial costs of providing drug treatments to the drug abusers, costs to the society in relation to drug abuse and other minor costs that affect stakeholders in the health care systems. Treatment of the drug abusers is very costly and drains the government and individuals’ a lot of money, which could have been used in other important areas of building economy. This problem presents a very big problem as one of the effects of drug abuse. Rehabilitating the drug user is very expensive in terms of meeting their financial obligation; therefore, it comes with financial implications. Drug abuse further, rolls down to the society. It has negative effects to the society, as these people involved in drug abuse become a predicament/hindrance for peace in society. Most drug abusers turn into robberies and involve themselves with criminal gangs terrorizing people and robbing them of their properties and belongings. Furthermore, they engage in wrong moral behaviors such as rape, child molestation, violence and irresponsible behaviors heightening or transferring these costs to the society.
According to Cartwright (2007), causes of drug abuse are varied and include; peer pressure, anxiety, stress, adventure, among many others. For instance, peer pressure contributes a lot among the teenager in resorting to drug use. Many youths are influenced by their friends to taste and use these drugs. This behavior develops slowly and after some time they become addicts of drug abuse. Stress, adventure and anxiety among people also drive them towards taking drugs. They are driven into drug intake with the hope to forget their problem or a mechanism for consolation in the predicaments they face. Other use these substances to drive away fear and look confident and courageous in the public. Therefore, the causes vary from one person to another. On the other hand, media has also contributed in the spread of drug abuse among youths. Media content aired on television and other forms of media like cinema, radio is not regulated exposing youths to drug use. The propensity of media and the trust and confidence associated with media has facilitated access of drugs to the youths.
However, even with the rate of drug abuse gaining root and spreading fast among the youths, the problem can be resolved with all the stakeholders putting together their effort. First, government and policy makers should put in place laws and policies that will ensure that there is no accessibility to substances and drugs, which are harmful to the youths. For instance, the government can burn any form of advertisement and set up policies to crack down any drug barons selling these drugs. Second, the media can be used in educating the public and the youths on drug use and its effects. This education can assist in eradicating the ever-increasing numbers of youths who use drugs. Third, schools should also take a lead in creating awareness and educating the youths about the effects of drug use. Students should be given tips on how to avoid falling culprits or being swayed by their peers in engaging in drug use. These programs will see the prevalence of drug abuse cases reduce. Other solutions includes, ensuring that employment positions are available to the youths who finish their studies to avoid boredom and stress. These will engage them into meaningful activities and will preoccupy their minds helping them avoid drug use. Parents should also take a lead, lead from the front, and act as an example. They should talk to their children on the effects of drug abuse. They should allow open communication and discussions between them and their children to help in providing better leadership. In addition, counseling and guiding services should be provided in order to also guide and advise youths and other drug addicts on how to manage their lives and avoid entering into drug use.
Most of the theories of drug abuse attempt to explain a general class of a phenomenon on why people engage or use drugs. Therefore, most of the theories focus on particular features of the phenomenon of drug use. Biological theories focus of non-normative usage or addiction as they portray innate attributes, which contribute to one to use drugs, continue to use after first exposure or continue to abuse them after experimenting. This theory is also hinged on the genetic complexities of the drug users. For instance, the genetic makeup may affect the processing of substance and usually vary from one person to another. This theory helps to explain why there is high prevalence or reports on a drug abuse in those families, which have past history of drug use, and abuse (Dan, Sayers, & Pearson 1980, p. 38).
In conclusion, it is imperative that various institutions and the society take up early precautions in curbing the prevalence of drug use among the youths and other members of the society. Nevertheless, to state, there is need for the government to seal all the loopholes, which allow these people to engage in illicit drug use so us to ensure that the effects that comes with it are minimized. The government will cut down the costs of treating the affected, rehabilitation and treating other ailments associated with drug abuse like mental problems. The effects are dear and the only solution is to come up with policies, which will assist reduce drug abuse. Drug abuse is rife in our society and its elevation will lead to a productive and a peaceful country.
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