For the longest time, the vice of drug abuse has been a prevalent vice in our society. Drug abuse, also known as substance abuse, refers to the use of drugs not for their therapeutic or medical effect; but for their mood-altering effects. Medically, it may be defined as “the use of illicit drugs or the abuse of prescription or over-the-counter drugs for purposes other than those for which they are indicated or in a manner or in quantities other than directed,”. People abuse different drugs for several reasons, resulting into negative consequences. However, there is a chance to reverse this. Is enough being done?
One of the leading causes of drug abuse is emotional problems. Any traumatizing event in one’s life, particularly bereavement, is among the contributing factors to drug abuse. To such people, substance abuse is viewed as a way to escape from the pain, if only for a moment. Another cause is loss of employment. Losing a job brings about sentiments of inadequacy and worthlessness. A man who was once able to provide for his family may no longer be able; it is this helplessness and loss of confidence that may lead him to abuse drugs as a form of escape from the harsh reality.
Tied to emotional problems are marital issues. Disagreements and fights within a marriage are likely to lead either or both partners into substance abuse for temporary relief from the tension. However, drug addiction is not caused only by external factors such as those already mentioned. An individual may be predisposed to drug abuse because of his genetic makeup. A person from a family with a history of drug abuse may carry those genes. And once they get a taste of the drug, their bodies will want more of it. Finally, drugs are used for self medication, a cause that covers all other causes. Indulging in drugs gives the user a peace of mind away from the troubles he is facing.
The repercussions of drug abuse are all negative. The habit can cause failure to honor important obligations such as meetings at school, at work, or other responsibilities in the home. Another consequence is that if used in dangerous contexts, it will lead to injury or even death. Drug abusers endanger their lives and those of others if they drive while under the influence of drugs. Substance abuse also causes legal problems. Drug traffickers and abusers act in contravention of the law and if discovered, will face litigation and long prison sentences.
However, the most negative result is destruction of social ties and relationships. A drug abuser may become so addicted to the drug that he secludes himself from his family and friends. To him, having access to the drug becomes a priority. As a result, he diverts all his finances from essentials to the drug. The end result is that he and his family suffer. Having said all this, there is hope for drug abusers. With the support of their families and rehabilitation programs, they can overcome this vice and become responsible members of society once again.
Strong drug control laws are needed to protect our health. We call for the country government to keep the interests of its citizens in mind over the interests of the drug industry.