Drug Abuse in the United States Society

Drug Abuse in the United States Society

American society is faced with many issues, but one that stands out is drug abuse and addiction. Today, many Americans are facing a very high rate of drug abuse that has seen millions of people waste their lives with drug and alcohol abuse (Andreas & Pape, 2015). American people keep on witnessing cases of drug addiction in their local communities irrespective of whether they live in suburban areas, urban metropolitans, or even rural America. This indicates that the drug problem has spread its tentacles to all regions of American society.  

Statistics show that 7 out of ten Americans living in the rural area say that there is either major or a minor issue with drug addiction in their community while 91% of people living in urban areas state that there is a major problem of drug addiction in their cities. In 2017, about 72,000 people died of drug-related issues in the United States (Welty et al, 2018). Data shows that the problem cuts across all races, gender, and affects both the young and the old. In particular, the drug problem was more prevalent in 2016 and 2017 when the number of deaths caused by drug abuse doubled. This shows that the problem of drug abuse in the United States is becoming a major issue that should be tacked by all stakeholders. 

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The biggest problem with drug abuse in society is that it leads to an increase in other crimes as well. For instance, in their research, Welty et al. (2016) concluded that there is a positive correlation between an increased rate of drug abuse in the United States and an increase in other violent crimes such murder, robbery with violence, kidnapping, carjacking, and gang-related crimes. The connection between the increase of these crimes and increased drug abuse in the United States is that addicts tend to be impulsive in their behavior and this is what leads to increased crime rate (Coombs, Paulson, & Richardson, 2015). Many drug addicts do not work and they do not have any form of income, which tends to make them engage in criminal activities to enable them to finance their addiction (Benjet et al., 2017). Gang wars in the country are on most occasions fueled by drugs with different gangs fighting over territories (Welty et al., 2018). These crimes are very violent and they are the leading cause of deaths of young men in the United States.

Having seen the socio-economic problems caused by drugs and drug addiction in the United States, it is important for different stakeholders to come together and come up with measures that can help curb this problem. The government should enhance its measures to control the borders of the country because more than 80% of drugs in the United States come through the border that separates the United States and South America (Farrington & Loeber, 2016). Most drugs in the country such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and crystal methamphetamine are manufactured in South American nations such as Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Bolivia (Juan, Juan, Andres, Glyn, & Estebanez, 2017). It is, therefore, important for the federal government to implement strict measures that would prevent drugs from finding their way into the country (Welty et al., 2018). The community through religious organizations, non-governmental organization, learning institutions, and community groupings should come up with groups that are aimed at educating the youths on the dangers of drug abuse and how they can avoid abusing drugs.

From what has been discussed above, it is evident that drug abuse can be destructive to society. For this reason, it is important for all parties in society to work hard to help reduce the usage of drugs (Velasquez, Crouch, Stephens, & DiClemente, 2015). The young people are the ones that should be targeted by the concerted efforts, as this is the group that is most vulnerable to drugs.


Andreas JB, & Pape H. (2015). Who receives cannabis use offers: A general population study of

adolescents. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2015;156:150–156

Benjet C, Borges G, Medina-Mora ME, Blanco J, Zambrano J, Orozco R, Rojas E. (2017). Drug

Use opportunities and the transition to drug use among adolescents from the Mexico City metropolitan area. Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Coombs RH, Paulson MJ,  & Richardson MA. (2015). Peer vs. parental influence in substance

use among Hispanic and Anglo children and adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. (1):73–88. 

Farrington DP, Loeber R. (2016). Epidemiology of youth violence. Child and Adolescent

Psychiatric Clinics of North Americ

Juan C, Juan, P, Andres, R, Glyn, O, & Estebanez, A. (2017). Drugs, Violence, and Trauma in

Mexico and the USA. Med Princ Practv.26(4).

Velasquez, M. M., Crouch, C., Stephens, N. S., & DiClemente, C. C. (2015). Group treatment for substance abuse: A stages-of-change therapy manual. Guilford Publications. 

Welty, L. J., Harrison, A. J., Abram, K. M., Olson, N. D., Aaby, D. A., McCoy, K. P., … & Teplin, L. A. (2018). Health disparities in drug-and alcohol-use disorders: A 12-year longitudinal study of youths after detention. American journal of public health106(5), 872-880.

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