Addiction and society

Substance addiction can negatively impact not only the struggling individual, but those around them, and society as a whole. Abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs cost our country more than $740 billion each year. These costs are related to crime, lost work productivity, and health care.

Addiction destroys a persons’ physical and mental well-being. Statistics show that one in four deaths is attributable to tobacco, alcohol, and illicit or prescription drug use. Besides, substance abuse leads to numerous social and economic consequences. In this article, we are going to talk about its 5 worst effects.

  1. The lost family.

Addiction is associated with poverty. Firstly, it makes proper managing finances impossible. Secondly, substance abuse is expensive to maintain, and the cost only increases with time as a person needs more and more. Oftentimes, addicts can’t afford treatment by  men-only rehab programs information because there are in financial ruin.

Researchers found a strong link between addiction, poverty, and abuse. Children from low-income families are 25 percent more likely to experience abuse than those from middle-income households. Children of alcoholics are four times more likely to be abused than kids of non-alcoholics. Alcohol and drugs are more prevalent in child abuse and neglect cases than any other factor.

Children who live in this type of environment are at risk of being taken from parents and placed into state custody. Putting children into state custody costs the U.S. about 1 billion USD annually.

  1. Overly Packed Institutions.

The cost of substance addiction weighs heavily on health care. According to a Henry Ford Hospital study, 77 percent of so-called "super-frequent user" patients who seek care in the Emergency Department (ED) had substance abuse disorders and addiction, with 35 percent addicted to alcohol. 1 out of 5 dollars spent by Medicare is on inpatient treatment directly related to substance addiction, including treatment in alcohol rehab for men.

In 2014, 50 percent of males and 59 percent of females in federal prisons were serving time for drug-related offenses. Inside the prison, 70% of inmates are involved in substance abuse.

This is a cause the prisons in the U.S. are overcrowded. In fact, the U.S. leads the world with more than 2.2 million people currently in prison. It’s more than 1.65 million in China.

To solve this issue, court-ordered treatment was introduced in 1998. It’s a form of alternative sentencing for individuals who have been convicted of a drug- or alcohol-related crime.

  1. High Crime Rates.

There is a direct link between addiction and crime rates. Using and abusing drugs and alcohol (for someone under the legal drinking age) is a crime in itself. But that’s not the type of offense we are going to analyze. Crimes are often done under the effect of alcohol or drug use.

When people develop an addiction to some substance, it becomes the only thing that matters to them. When they are not using and abusing alcohol or drugs, they are thinking about how to get money for the next dose or bottle. They lie, cheat and steal.

Half of all people arrested for a serious crime, such as robbery, assault, and murder, acted under the influence of an addictive, and usually illegal, substance. Drug addicts do things that neither people that know them nor even they ever thought they were capable of.

That’s why treatment is essential. Increases in admissions to substance abuse treatment are associated with reductions in crime rates. It’s obviously better to be enrolled in men drug rehab facilities than in prison.

  1. Public Impairment.

Truck drivers, public transportation drivers, and even health care professionals have substance use problems. There have been accidents and crashes directly related to drug and alcohol use. They caused injuries, fatalities, and huge damage costs.

The transportation industry puts constant efforts to maintain safety policy. Drivers are required to undergo men-only rehab programs.

International studies reveal that 5 to 10 percent of medical personnel currently abuse addictive drugs, the most common being alcohol, nicotine, and benzodiazepines. Within the U.S., the latest report on substance abuse by industry analyzed data from 2003–2007 and 2008–2012. It turned out that the number of healthcare and social assistance professionals engaging in previous-month illegal drug use increased from an average of 164,600 to 168,400 per year.

One of the consequences of substance abuse is medical malpractice - improper care performed by a medical professional which results in the harm of the patient.

  1. Environmental Pollution.

Outdoor marijuana cultivation and methamphetamine production affect the environment the most.

Outdoor marijuana is often done on public lands. Cannabis is a ‘water-hungry crop’. So, cultivators often dam streams and redirect the water through plastic, gravity-fed irrigation systems to supply water to the plants. The high demand for water impacts small streams. And this damages downstream vegetation dependent on those water flows.

Additionally, highly toxic chemicals are often used to kill rodents that can damage the crop. These insecticides, repellents, and poisons are contaminating the groundwater and watersheds, harming and killing local wildlife.

Meth production is another concern. The chemicals used in the process are flammable and hazardous. Usually, they are stored improperly and cause fires and explosions at labs.

Meth production leaves behind between 5 to 7 pounds of toxic waste per pound of meth. The waste is discarded into sewers, streams, and forests.

Final thoughts

The included statistics unveil the state of the problem in the U.S., but we can assume that countries all over the world face similar impacts on society due to substance addictions.

While it’s unlikely that tobacco, alcohol, or drugs will disappear one day, high hopes are placed on preventive measures and treatment. Men's rehabilitation is available for every man who can’t quit by himself. And it’s great when healed people start to educate others about the dangers of different substances, caution people against repeating their mistakes, and motivating users to seek treatment.