It is inarguably true that the statistics of drug abuse in the contemporary community continues to rise despite the tireless effort to reduce this societal problem. Drug abuse is defined as the use of an illegal or legal substance for a purpose other than the one intended for (Bronson, Stroo, Zimmer & Berzofsky 2017). This may take the form of overdosing the prescribed dosage or even taking someone else prescription. Research has shown that the majority of those who abuse drugs do so to feel good, ease stress, or even to run away from reality. Drug abuse is closely related to addiction. Addiction is that stage where one cannot stop the use of drugs even after discovering the adverse effects of such drugs. Drug abuse is a community problem that hurts the society, however, preventive measures do exist that can be taken to minimize drug abuse in the community.
Health, Social and Economic Impacts
Drug abuse has a health impact on the user. Continuous use of drugs especially tobacco and alcohol can cause heart and lung diseases. Other drugs may affect the nervous system or even lead to hormonal imbalance. These effects are not only to the active users but extend to the community at large. A person smoking tobacco will not be arming himself but also those near him. This is called passive smoking. Extensive abuse of drugs is believed to cause mental disorders and worse can lead to death.
Another impact of drug abuse is to the social life of the people. The use of drugs is associated with increased crime in the community. People engaging in drug abuse have little or no time of working and thus most are unable to meet their personal needs. This makes them involve in social crime such as stealing for them to raise some money for their needs. This does not only affect the victims of drugs abuse but it also put the life of the other people in the community in danger as some time violence is used during such crimes. People suffering from a drug abuse problem are likely to lose friends as no one will want to be associated with them. The resulting loneliness leads to depression and even repetitive use of drugs.
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Drug abuse causes an economic effect on the community. According to Ongwae (2016), the population affected by these drugs is economically unproductive. This makes the community experience economic challenges because the productive population is overly dependent on the unproductive one. Families of affected people are likely to remain poor as the available income is used to feed the unproductive lot and a lot of costs are incurred trying to rehabilitate them.
Collection of data and Preventive Program
There exist several methods can be used to collect data for this kind of problem. One of the methods is surveys. This can be done by examining the community to establish the number of people affected by drug abuse. Questionnaires and interviews can also be used to extract information from both the affected people as well as the other members of the community (Paradis, O’Brien, Nimmon, Bandiera, Martimianakis, 2016).
Preventive programs will include universal prevention intervention which is the attempt to reduce this problem across the whole community. An example will be setting the minimum drinking age. Another method that can be used is the selective intervention. This is the program targeting specific groups or families who are at a higher risk of being affected by drug abuse. This program can be more effective because it targets specific people and can be modified to best fit the individual. The last method is indicated intervention. This is mostly applicable to the new users who have not already developed side effects disorders or those not yet addicted by the drugs.
In conclusion, drug abuse continues to be one of the main challenges in every community. Many side effects of drugs abuse continue to be witnessed despite many measures which have been put in place to reduce such problem. While this needs to be fought by every member of the community, a call is made for the drug users to consider changing their behavior.
Bronson, J., Stroop, J., Zimmer, S., & Berzofsky, M. (2017). Drug use, dependence, and abuse among state prisoners and jail inmates, 2007–2009. Washington, DC: United States Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Ongwae, M. N. (2016). A study of the causes and effects of drug and substance abuse among students in selected secondary schools in Starehe Sub County, Nairobi County (Doctoral dissertation, University of Nairobi).
Paradis, E., O’Brien, B., Nimmon, L., Bandiera, G., & Martimianakis, M. A. (2016). Design: selection of data collection methods. Journal of graduate medical education, 8(2), 263-264.