This is a free example essay on Workplace and Drug Abuse:
Drug abuse has been an ongoing problem that has plagued America. The ramped use of illegal drugs impacts our society in many ways. Drug abuse attributes to increases in violent crime, poverty, domestic violence, HIV, school drop out rate, homelessness, teen pregnancy, and increasing health costs due to health related problems.
Since the beginning of the 19th century America has had a problem with drug abuse. During this time, morphine, cocaine, and heroin, were commonly used like aspirin is today. By the time the twentieth century cam along our nation was dealing with its first problem of increasing drug use. The use of opium became ramped in the United States as well. Eventually the government began to recognize the problem and put laws in place to regulate drug use (Carroll, 2002). By the time of World War II was in existence, drug abuse had basically come to a halt, and was not an issue as it was previously.
That all changed with the onset of the 1960’s. Marijuana and psychedelics were popular in the 1960’s and was more widely accepted. Because of this newly, wide spread use, the government began to create federal agencies to aggressively enforce the federal laws that were in existence. These laws were put in place to regulate illegal drug use. Soon after the 1970’s were here and so was cocaine. During the 1970’s cocaine use was considered the drug of choice, it also brought along with it a new surge of violent crimes and increased addiction.
There are many different factors in our society that have contributed to the support of drug abuse and drug use. One such reason is the need to satisfy our want of mental stimulation audio/ visually.
People are surrounded, by items meant to grasp, or stimulate their attention. In today’s society we are often stimulated by audio and visual stimulants. For example, the vast variety of video games, computers, television, DVD’s, and CD’s, are all geared to satisfy our desire for audio/visual pleasure. With all these items and so many varieties to choose from, the American public soon becomes desensitized by the over stimulation to the senses. Many of our children are bombarded with this type of mental stimulation and they soon become bored. The only other alternative to generate excitement is the use of drugs.
Still others are finding it necessary to seek some type of religious experience and therefore are motivated to become closer to a higher power. There has always been a desire to find the meaning of life or to gain a deeper understanding of oneself and purpose in life. Some people feel so strongly about this that they resort to chemical substances in order to comprehend the world of the supernatural. Chemical substances that are psychoactive are usually used to achieve the desired state of being. Still others resort to using methods of fasting or subjecting the body to a rigorous test of endurance.
Alcoholism is another problem that ranks highly in our nation of substance abuse. Traditional treatment for alcohol abuse usually involves a twelve -step program at a licensed treatment center. The use of psychedelic drugs has been used as a form of treatment for alcoholism. Our society is filled with elements, which are motivating factors for alcohol abuse. People who are heavy drinkers or abusers of alcohol do usually due to some form of anxiety. “ Views on the amount of alcohol consumed correlated positively with anxiety created by various cultural circumstances. Anxiety contributes to alcoholic addiction in America (Jennings, 2003).”
A great number of individuals are motivated by the need to find relief from psychological problems or personal problems. Other reasons which motivate the use of drugs are mental disorders which may have to be treated with a narcotic to eleviate the symptoms of the disorder. Our culture through the various forms of the media has glamourized drug use. This image of acceptance contradict the anti-drug messages that the youth of this country are being exposed to, through school, and advertisement paid for by anti-drug organizations. Teenagers have shown an increase in drug usage base on a study done by various government agencies and anti-drug organizations.Even though most teenagers have been well informed of the health risks and dangers of drug abuse, many still make a personal choice to use them.
A study was done by NIDA, (National Institute on Drug Abuse),released on July 31,2002, which found a correlation between teen drug use and health issues occurring in early adult years. The study concluded that young adults in their twenties who had used drugs in their teens developed more health problems than those who had not ever used drugs. The type of problems these young adults experienced were sinus infections, colds, and similar respiratory problems. In addition they also had problems focusing, remembering, learning disabilities, plus, headaches, dizziness, and problems with their site. The study included over 600 young people and was done over a period of 22 years. This study reaffirms and supports the facts, stating there are long-term health risks with drug abuse and drug use (NIDA, 2002). Other studies have been done that report a large number of the mentally ill, use drugs or alcohol. Combing mental illness and substance abuse makes it difficult to treat an individual for their mental problems. For the mental health community, the rise in substance abuse has created new challenges in the treatment of mental illness. One major complication that arises, is the difficulty in diagnosing a person’s mental condition.
American young people are using chemical substances in great numbers. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (April 2003), published the national results of the Monitoring the Future, annual survey. The survey is a report of students in 8th, 10th, and 12th grades and their current trends in drug use. The results indicated a decline in many illicit drugs, especially ecstasy. There was a significant decrease in smoking and drinking for all grades. Among 12th graders, an increase in tranquilizers and barbituates was reported.
There is an ongoing emergence of new drugs in 2002, that are popular among teens. Included in this trend is an appearance of drugs coming back, that were popular in the 1960’s, like LSD, for example. Most young people today are not familiar with the side effects and health risks of LSD. New drugs such as nitrite inhalants, PCP, Rohypnol, GHB, and ectasy are increasing in use.
America will continue to struggle with the task of eliminating substance abuse. Studies conducted by the federal government and anti-drug organizations, will gauge the changes in current drug trends. It is apparent that research indicates a significant substance abuse epidemic within the young American community. According to the NIDA (April 2003), 53% of our youth have experiemented with illegal drugs by their 12 grade graduation. 57% of 12 graders have tried cigarettes, 27% currently smoke regularly. 78% of teens have tried alcohol, and 47% have done so by the 8th grade.
Have there been decreases in drug use? Yes, there have been; along with the increase of new drugs. America has seen some positive trends with substance abuse, but how significant are these changes? Teenagers must constantly be made aware of the long term health risks of drug use.