There are at least two different aspects of sociological imagination that apply to substance abusers. First, there is the issue of how the behavior developed within the context of external social influences. For example, substance abuse rarely begins in isolation; instead, the first experiences of most drug and alcohol users is typically within the context of social relationships within a particular subcultures and the norms, values, and expectations of individuals within those subcultures.
In the United States, we have a culture that accepts the use of some substances over others, regardless of the negative affects of the “acceptable” drugs. For instance, it is socially acceptable to drink alcohol, eat sugar, and, while no longer as in vogue, smoke cigarettes. From a public health standpoint, these substances are also dangerous and can have debilitating affects on both children and adults. What is more, while narcotics use during pregnancy can lead to NAS at birth, there has been no conclusive evidence of lasting negative effects across the lifespan (Goldensohn & Levy, 2014; Miller, 2015). However, the use of other substances, such as alcohol, can be devastating and carry much more risk, leading some reporters to believe that the law has more to do with the people using these substances than the substances themselves (Todd, 2014). In any case, the punishment of mothers who suffer from addiction when they should be receiving support and treatment is a large moral failing on the part of policymakers. Arguments around whether the woman should be held responsible for her addiction overlook possible systemic barriers that led to her substance use as well as the fact that drug addiction is a treatable illness (Todd, 2014). In creating and invoking this law, policymakers are essentially turning their backs on some of the most vulnerable people in our society, expectant mothers, and using their resulting arrests as evidence of corrupt principles, deserving of punishment and
Drug abuse is shown to be connected to all different kinds of crime in the United States, and in many circumstances, crime is inspired by drug abuse and addiction. In fact, 80% of criminal offenders abuse drugs or alcohol (National Association of Drug Court Professionals). Also, 60% of those who are arrested test positive for illicit drugs when they are arrested, and 60-80% commit another crime, typically drug-related, after leaving prison (National Association of Drug Court Professionals). And, even after these individuals put in the time in prison that would allow them to go through the uncomfortable process of detoxing, 95% of them will chose to go back to drug abuse after prison (National Association of Drug Court Professionals). Given these overwhelming statistics, it is clear that drug abuse, and repeated or continued drug abuse, are a serious problem facing the criminal justice system.
Surratt in the article, “Gender-Specific Issues in the Treatment of Drug-Involved Women” talks about how women biologically react to drug different and how they often connect treatment recovery and motherhood together (Surratt, p. 349). Surratt suggests that women become addicted to drug much more quickly than men (Surratt, p. 349). However, most treatment does no not focus on women’s recover and the unique forms of treatment they may need for recovery (Surratt, p. 350). Often women feel more guilt than men when battling drug addiction because women are more harshly judged for drug use, especially when she is pregnant or has children (Surratt, p. 351). Surratt looks at the treatment program at Florida State called “The Village”, which has treatment program called Families in Transition for mothers battling addiction and their children under the age of 12 years old (Surratt, p. 352). This allows for the children to live with their mothers while they are receiving treatment (Surratt, p. 352). The author held interviews with some women in the program and almost all attributed treatment with becoming a good mother for their children (Surratt, p. 353). Many of the women who were battling with addiction had family members who were addicts or had some form of childhood or domestic abuse (Surratt, p. 355). Treatment for these women needs to be more complex than your typical user because they have many layers of issues to over come. This program did not include the
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) describes addiction as a, “chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences” (“Understanding Drug Use and Addiction,” 2016). Long-term use can effect and change a person’s ability to learn, judge, and make decisions. Stress, memory issues, and behavior problems are also common side effects of extended drug use. There is not one single factor that can determine if a person will become addicted drugs. However, certain risk factors have been identified as predicting higher probabilities of addiction because of a person’s biology, environment, and development. Adolescents who abuse
This paper explores drug abuse as a problem that crosses ethnic lines for all Americans and translates to a major problem for all society. The articles used show the impact of drug abuse and how it is felt by all Americans. As a result of this paper, the author has discovered the institutional response to drug abuse and how it is felt disproportionately among the poor and among African Americans and Hispanics. According to the research it was discovered from a global survey data from the World Health Organization, that Americans are more likely to try illegal drugs than anyone else in the world. Approximately forty-two percent of American adults have tried marijuana and Americans are also number one in terms of annual prescription
Research shows that as many as three-fourths of all Georgia inmates have drug or alcohol addiction. Should we continue to incarcerate these non-violent offenders or divert them away from the prison system and into special courts. I believe the drug courts will be a good addition to our sentencing system because it will free up law enforcement resources to fight violent crime. Georgia has been treating the symptoms of addicted and mentally ill prisoners, criminal behavior, rather than treating the root cause of those symptoms. As a result, spending on corrections has skyrocketed, with corrections becoming the biggest driver in state budgets.
The issue of drug abuse is a sad reality in every community, and drug prohibition is present across the globe. Whether it is under the guise of protection of family values, or public safety, prohibition disrupts more than it maintains. Many people view drugs as a problem but they can also be viewed as a problem solver. This essay will address the socioeconomic issues with prohibition of hard drugs, and argue for their legalization.
“Crack-babies” a media induced phenomena brought about by the climax of public outcry from the results of the 1980’s war on drugs. This term laid the foundation for biased prosecutions which sparked a political crusade during climate of the time. Thus exploiting the public’s fear of children born to substance addicted mother and creating a firestorm of litigation to prosecute pregnant drug addicts. According to Flavin, Paltrow (2010), current evidence points to public stigmas and prejudice as posing a greater danger to both maternal and fetal health than use of the drug itself. Leaving the question as to why addicted women are still publicly reviled for the outcomes of their circumstances. From this abhorrence stems the likelihood that
For instance, if an individual lives in the ghetto, they are mostly connected in some way to the use of illicit drugs and alcohol use. Indeed, this can be due to the numerous amount of bars located in a low-income neighborhood or sale of illicit drugs within the community. In the article Five Stereotypes about Poor Families and Education, Valerie Strauss asserted, “We also should realize that when these problems do exist in low-income families, they have the potential to be particularly devastating because people in poverty who are struggling with substance abuse generally do not have at their disposal the sorts of recovery opportunities available to wealthier families. Nor do they have access to preventative medical attention that might catch and treat growing dependencies before they become full-fledged additions.” (Strauss, 2013) Therefore, instead of labeling poor individuals as the responsibility of the drug and alcohol abuse epidemic, a solution can be given to assist these individuals with these problems before the addiction grows and becomes out of hand to
Although some people argue for the legalization of drugs, addiction to these substances has caused a huge increase in violent crimes in the home, at school, and on the street. Many people do not understand why individuals become addicted to drugs or how drugs change the brain to create compulsive drug abuse. They mistakenly view drug abuse and addiction as strictly a social problem and may characterize those who take drugs as morally weak. One very common belief is that drug abusers should be able to just stop taking drugs if they are only willing to change their behavior. This is a false and uneducated belief. Drug abuse may start as a social problem or social escape but one the addiction has taken ahold of a person
Substance abuse and addiction have become a social problem that afflicts millions of individuals and disrupts the lives of their families and friends. Just one example reveals the extent of the problem: in the United States each year, more women and men die of smoking related lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined (Kola & Kruszynski, 2010). In addition to the personal impact of so much illness and early death, there are dire social costs: huge expenses for medical and social services; millions of hours lost in the workplace; elevated rates of crime associated with illicit drugs; and scores of children who are damaged by their parents’ substance abuse behavior (Lee, 2010). This paper will look at
According to National Institute on Drug Abuse, iIn 2013, a survey reported that an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older had used an illegal drug in the past month. The first time someone uses a drug, it is usually voluntary. This first use is usually to mask certain emotions that they are currently going through. Repeated use can lead to changes in the brain that challenge an addict’s self control and interfere with their ability to resist the temptation of a drug, this addiction makes them feel better about themselves and forget about the problem they are dealing with at the time. According to the Mayo Clinic, drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a dependence on a legal or illegal drug or
Drug addiction is one of society 's biggest problems and it is rampant among teenagers and young adults and one of the most abused drugs is marijuana. Cannabis sativa or marijuana usually grows throughout tropical and temperate climates and then plant 's stems, leaves, flowers, and seeds are then dried. What attracts to most users is the mind altering effect these parts produce which is addictive to some extent. It is usually smoked as cigarette, or in a pipe. It is also smoked in blunts, in which cigars will be emptied of tobacco and refill with marijuana or sometimes it is combined with another drug. It can also be brewed as tea or mixed in food. Hashis is a more concentrated, resinous form which is sticky black liquid, hash oil. The