The social effects of drugs on society are horrific. Drug abuse results in crime, depleted resources, injuries, worsened livelihoods and the deprivation of childcare and healthcare to innocent citizens.
How does drug abuse affect the community?
It costs everyone money
According to DrugRehab.org, drug and alcohol abuse rake up an annual fee of nearly $600 billion. Abusing drugs and alcohol comes with many side effects, requiring support and resources from health care, lost revenue, damages and health care. The ripple effects of drug use include sexual assault, prison sentences, foster care placement, child abuse and work-related injuries. The more society abuses drugs, the more we pay for it as a whole.
It monopolizes health care resources
Every year, drug abuse costs the healthcare industry over $180 billion. Health care is responsible for rehabilitation programs and services, mental disorders and injuries related to drug abuse or addiction.
Drug abuse demands tax dollars and hospital resources that could be directed toward other more positively beneficial efforts and life-saving endeavors.
Drug abuse takes an extensive toll on the family, which in turn has a negative impact on society. Studies show the tendency of one family member to abuse drugs or alcohol and this one family member’s problem causes tension amongst all members.
If a parent is misusing drugs or alcohol, it creates strain in the spousal (if any) relationship, driving the parent’s partner into frustration and fatigue, possibly resulting in a lack of effort at work, in parenting, in friendships or in the ability to care for himself or herself.
A parent abusing drugs always leads to the children receiving inadequate care. This results in poorer childhood health, reduced academic performance, neglected emotional support and more.
As the children of a drug abuser are denied basic necessities of parenting (often including shelter and food), their involvement in and contribution to society, later on, is hindered. In some cases, the emotional burden is too great, causing the affected children to turn to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism and recreating the cyclical negative process.
When one child in the family is addicted to or abusing drugs, it affects everyone. Parenting efforts and financial resources tend to go toward helping the one child, neglecting the needs of the other seemingly stable kids in the family. The stable children are denied necessary parenting attention and fail to be pushed toward their potential that would lead to greater positive influence in society in their adulthood.
It results in crime
Over half of federal prison occupancy is accounted for by individuals with incarcerations related to drug abuse or addiction. Each year, drug-related incarcerations in state prisons cost taxpayers $45 billion as well as $144 million in federal prison incarcerations.
More crimes are committed by individuals under the use of drugs and alcohol, costing society its resources, time, efforts and safety.
Everybody else has to work harder
Drug abusers bring down the productivity at work.
They are late, absent or mentally impaired on the job, requiring other employees to make up for their lack of productivity. Straining the work capacity of fellow employees triggers irritation and exhaustion in these employees, which has a ripple effect on their relationships with partners, family and friends and eventually, on their ability to function optimally at work.
These consequences of drug abuse on society are not necessary outcomes of every drug abuse situation, but they are unfortunately the common result and just some examples of how substance abuse worsen feelings of stress. Abusing drugs takes a toll on everyone, stemming from the abuser to close connections, family, work, health care and society as a whole.
If you or a loved one is facing drug addiction or abuse, reach out to United Recovery Project. We have the knowledge, resources, experience, and facilities necessary to help you or your loved ones get through this drug-related trying time. Contact us today and enjoy our services which include detox, inpatient programs and alumni programs among others.