Essay on Substance Abuse: A Nationwide Epidemic

2215 Words9 Pages
The consequences that follow the use of any drug are unfavorable. Although many individuals may see drug addiction as a mere lifestyle choice, it is a problem that many individuals suffer from and inevitably a growing issue that leaves major social and economic impacts.

The most commonly abused substances are Nicotine, Inhalants, Alcohol, Cocaine, Amphetamines, Prescription medications, Heroin, Ecstasy and Marijuana. 1a(National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2011) Initially, a person may find themselves using substances voluntarily and with confidence that they will be able to dictate their personal use. However, over the period of time that drug use is repeated, changes are taking place throughout the brain, whether it is functionally
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Thus, being an addict.

Substance abuse is a key component to the problems that we face today as a society. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("Alcohol-Impaired Driving", 2009) in 2009, 32% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States were due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes. Surveys were also conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Compton, & Berning, 2009) so researchers were able to estimate not only the prevalence of drinking and driving, but for the first time they were also able to collect data on the number of drivers who were under the influence of drugs that impaired their abilities. In this data, it was found that 16% of weekend night time drivers tested positive for impairing drugs, in contrast to the 2% of drivers who were at the legal alcohol limit; making drugs 7 times more prevalent. These statistics show that “drugged” driving is a concern for not only law enforcement but also puts other drivers at risk of becoming a part of future statistics.

Some of the health concerns that we deal with as a society are also linked to substance abuse. The Center for Disease Control (Center for Disease Control, 2011) had estimated that about 1.1 million Americans were living with HIV, and approximately 21% did not know they were infected. In correlation to
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