Substance Abuse : A Social Problem

1608 WordsApr 11, 20177 Pages
When discussing social problems, some common issues that come up relate to the environment, discrimination, poverty, healthcare, and more. While these issues are important and must be addressed, we must also take substance abuse into consideration because it is all too often neglected. According to the World Health Organization, substance abuse “refers to the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs” (Substance). Individuals who become victims of substance abuse become dependent on and overindulge in substances such as drugs and alcohol. The outside forces in our world today influence behaviors including substance abuse, ultimately displaying the connection between social structure and an…show more content…
A lot of the time, people born into a particular social class typically stay in the same social class for the rest of their life. The National Council on Drug Abuse reports that if an individual comes from an impoverished background, they are more likely to “abuse drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with the dangerous environment she lives in, [as] a way to deal with her financial stresses or a way to cope with physical or emotional abuse.” (Smith). Furthermore, in impoverished neighborhoods, it is easier for people to access substances such as drugs and alcohol. This is typically because people sell substances with the goal that someday they will overcome poverty (Smith). In addition to growing up in impoverished areas, the household one grows up in is also a sociological cause of substance abuse. HealthyPlace.com, a mental health site, states that parental abuse and neglect are large contributions to substance abuse (Tracy). These factors are out of the individual’s control and as a result, adolescents and preadolescents may attempt to gain their attention or escape the reality they live in by using drugs or alcohol. The environment one is raised in plays a significant role in the sociological causes of substance abuse. While those from a lower socioeconomic background may turn to substances to escape the neglect and abuse they face, teenagers from higher socioeconomic backgrounds abuse substances as a solution or
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