Effects of Drugs in America

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Drugs have been around for many years and can affect the body in positive and negative ways. All drugs produce a chemical which may have a therapeutic or non-therapeutic effect. When drugs were first introduced to people they were only used for medical use or in religious rituals. Opioid addiction is a serious issue and I will show how opioid use is becoming more accessible. Opioid use has become an epidemic, and everyday more than 130 people die after overdosing (drugabuse.gov). Hydrocodone is topping the drug abuse charts of all prescriptions it has also been established that it is responsible for more deaths in suicides, motor vehicle accidents, and deaths from cocaine and heroin combined (ManchikantiL., Helm , S, Fellows, B, Janata, J. W., Pampati, V., Grider, J.S., Boswell, M.V., Pain Physicians). Research shows that 4-20 percent of opioids prescribed are taken for nonmedical reasons and 80 percent of all opioid prescriptions are prescribed by physicians.

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Poverty is having a significant effect on America’s opioid crisis. Most of the deaths that have occurred from this addiction were people who lived in poor areas where employment opportunities were limited. These social and economic conditions are contributing to geographic differences. Some individuals who abuse opioids stated using heroin because it is cheaper. Addiction does not discriminate it affects individuals in upper-class and poverty-stricken areas. The only difference is that rich people have the income and resources to support their habit, where poor people steal, prostitute or commit other crimes to feed their habit.

The use of legal and illegal drugs are causing alarming issues locally and globally. The conflict perspective is important when analyzing the issues surrounding drugs use issues. Many believe that drugs are mainly used in poverty-stricken area as a result of racial inequality, poverty and lack of education. However, this issue is present locally as well as globally. It impacts many things in society such as work productivity, crime and quality of life. European countries like the United States is influenced by impact of drugs and trends that follow. Understanding different countries culture help us to understand the patterns of drug use around the world.

Some solutions to this issue is to avoid prescribing opioid painkillers, give fewer pills with no refills and have patients return unused pills. I would suggest that drug test be a part of annual health exams and routine medical visits. Although drug test was put in place and used by many companies to help with controlling this issue is can be consider a failure. There are so many products and remedies to pass drug test. People post videos on YouTube and many other social media sites for abuses of drugs to pass these tests with no problem. Just like all issues in America and around the world, we will never be able to completely eliminate the use of drugs unless it no longer available. Companies would have to stop making and selling these products.

The influence of globalization is growing, and many factors have an impact on the drug market such as drug trafficking. Drug trafficking is a black-market business and prohibited by law. There is not only a problem with illegal drugs but with prescriptions drugs as well. Over the years we believed that if a doctor prescribed you a drug that it was okay, but over the years we see that these drugs are becoming more of an issue. We can’t completely blame the physicians for opioid addiction because the pharmaceuticals companies reassured the physicians that opioids were at low risk for addiction and they were approved by the FDA. The opioid epidemic bought on so much attention that the CDC (Center for Disease Control), issued guidelines for prescribing opioids for pain palliative care and end of life care.

There are many similarities in drug use and how addiction can arise. The difference is the type of drug and how it effects the body. Users look for difference kinds of highs, some like downers and others prefer uppers.  Some suggest that substance abuse it due to class inequality, poverty and education. There are many conflicting theories to explain how this has become a social issue and present ideas on how we can attempt to make a difference. Social issues play a huge role in drug use, such as drinking and driving, violence, stress and different forms of abuse. It may also lead to homelessness and problem with keep a job. Drug addiction is morally wrong, leaves you spiritually empty, psychological cause by impulse, becomes a behavioral habit and is a medical disease. Addiction is a disease of the brain which leads to morbidity and mortality. The consistent use of drugs no longer makes you high over time but the abuser needs them to make them feel normal.

This issue has caused a public health crisis which is dragging down our economy. Prescription drugs or easily accessible because they are prescribed by a physician. One way to control this issue is to make physician more accountable when prescribing medications. There are conflicting sides to this epidemic. Some individuals feel the more action is needed to crack down on physicians prescribing painkillers and others insist that there need to be an expansion of addiction treatment centers. They can also provide other pain management options without the use of medication. Many uses may want assistance but due to lack of free healthcare services, recovery clinics and other services these individuals have no way to get help. There will never be a magic cure, and everyone cannot be saved but a person has to first admit they have a problem and want treatment.

Mental illness is common among addiction who experience psychiatric disorders, depression bipolar and schizophrenia which can cause several barriers with successful treatment. So many individuals self-medicate because of lack of health insurance and financial resources. It is challenging for physicians to manage diseases and pain. Many individuals have had to experience first-hand how the misuse of opioids is affecting families and communities. Having a family member addicted to this substance is heartbreaking. You cannot make anyone get help because they have to first admit they have a problem and want help. Knowledge and educational resources is important to communities.

Work Cited

  1. Opioids. (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2019, from National Institute of Drug Abuse
  2. Sullivan, T. J. (2016). Introduction to social problems. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
  3. Opioid prescriptions are widespread in the United States. (2018). OECD Economic Surveys: United States OECD Economic Surveys: United States 2018. doi:10.1787/eco_surveys-usa-2018-graph58-en
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Effects of Drugs in America. (2020, Aug 14). Retrieved October 4, 2022 , from
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