Drug and Alcohol Abuse and Its Causes

Drug and alcohol abuse is one of the main problems that affected modern society. This problem becomes a real burden for many families living in low-class environments. Drug and alcohol abuse is not an individual problem but a social one caused by poverty and the inability to find a well-paid job (Wilke 29). Drug and alcohol abuse hurts productivity and employee relations, health and safety conditions. To solve the problem of substance abuse, political and social leaders develop a complex approach including laws and regulations, strict organizational policies and provide workers with social and economic support. Thesis The causes of drug and alcohol abuse are a desire to gain popularity among peers, media and family influence, and a need to mind off psychological problems.

Drug and alcohol abuse is the nation’s number one health problem and the biggest detriment to productivity levels. Substance abuse is detrimental to both the family and the individual. Following DSM: “Substance abuse is defined as a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress as manifested by one (or more) of the following, occurring within 12 months” (DSM-IV Substance Abuse Criteria n.d.). The direct result and cost of drug and alcohol abuse to the state and business have been well documented. Drug and alcohol abuse is costing American businesses $39.1 billion annually in lost productivity; the human economic cost may well exceed $100 billion a year. The individual pays with the loss of his or her health, increased financial and family problems, loss of respect, and often his or her job (Ammerman 51).

Media and family influence behavior of an individual and develop his/her preferences. Underreporting also misrepresents the relationship between substance abuse and criminal aggression, especially when the aggression involves acquaintances or is relatively minor. Also, since numerous psychological and sociodemographic factors contribute to violent behavior, it is not possible to definitively determine alcohol’s role (Goodlett et al 87). Yet alcohol’s involvement in antisocial aggression is obvious and extends beyond mere barroom brawling. The main risk factors associated with substance abuse are health and safety concerns. On the one hand, alcohol abuse increases the risk of cancer at several sites. Most notably, abuse is responsible for 75 percent of the deaths from cancer of the esophagus and 50 percent of those from cancer of the larynx and the lip/oral cavity/pharynx. It also contributes to cardiovascular, respiratory and digestive system diseases and fatal mental disorders. Not all alcohol-related injury deaths involve alcohol abusers; simple misuse is sometimes the culprit. Reviewing accidental deaths in New Jersey (Ammerman 65).

Some people use alcohol because they try to eliminate psychological problems and feel better when taking some illicit drugs and other substances (Kelly and Edwards 47). Psychiatric morbidity and mortality explicitly recorded as due to alcohol are unlikely to be an adequate representation of the contribution of alcohol to such conditions. Admissions to mental hospitals for alcoholism, alcohol dependence syndrome, or related conditions in different regions of the country have been found to reflect medical policy rather than real differences. Their physical and psychological characteristics, such as hangovers, seizures, visual disturbances, impulsiveness, distractibility, and aggressiveness, possibly make alcoholics more accident-prone even when sober (Hanson 51).

In sum, alcohol and drug abuse are caused by social and personal problems of an individual: gain popularity among peers, media and family influence, and a need to mind off psychological problems. Their treatment is comprehensive and excellent in many respects, yet it appears to greatly underestimate the cost of alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents. The cost of substance abuse crashes is disproportionately large. Although they comprise only 10 percent of police-reported crashes, they account for a third of all crash costs chance of survival.

Works Cited

Ammerman, R.T. Prevention and Societal Impact of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. Mahwah, New Jersey London, 1999.

DSM-IV Substance Abuse Criteria. 2009. Web.

Goodlett, Ch. R., Hannigan, J. H., Spear, L. P. Alcohol and Alcoholism: Effects on Brain and Development, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999.

Hanson, D.J. Alcohol Education What We Must Do. Praeger Publishers, 2002.

Kelly, K. J. Edwards, R.W. Image Advertisements for Alcohol Products: Is Their Appeal Associated with Adolescents’ Intention to Consume Alcohol? Adolescence, 33 (1998), 47-51.

Wilke, D. Women and Alcoholism: How a Male-as-Norm Bias Affects Research, Assessment, and Treatment. Health and Social Work, 19 (1994), 29.