Substance Abuse and Its Impact as a Social Issue

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 3
Words: 902
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: Master

A social issue refers to peoples’ actions that affect a large population negatively. This issue originates typically from trauma and past events that need addressing before they persist and become uncontrollable. Drug abuse and addiction are social issues that have been a problem affecting many people over the years. However, in recent years, this problem has become rampant and alarming as many youths turn to drugs, and a large number of these individuals get admitted into rehabs. To assess drug abuse, the people involved need first to understand how it arises, its impact on the diverse population, and how it has affected the psychology of the diverse population.

The Causes of Drug Addiction Amongst the Youths

Personal experience and society significantly contribute to drug and substance abuse by the youth. These causes include peer pressure, curiosity, mental health problems, and stress. Peer pressure leads the youths into drugs because that is the time most of them feel the need to be validated by other minors (Azagba et al., 2021). It also makes them more daring and, therefore, become more popular. It may seem like having fun at the moment, but most of them end up developing health problems. Some of the youths become curious when they see other people, including some parents, using drugs. Drug and substance abuse starts as a curiosity but ends being an addiction problem.

The youths nowadays experience social anxiety disorder which makes them nervous when they are required to be social. They, therefore, take mild substances to give them a false sense of courage to face the crowd (Azagba et al., 2021). These drugs require one to take them from time to time to maintain their effectiveness. Without knowing it, they become dependent on substances to the extent that they cannot function well without them. They start to experience out-of-body discomforts such as hyperventilating, mild headache, hallucinations and aching of joints until they take some of the drugs to calm them down.

Stress is another factor that contributes to drug abuse amongst youths. Individuals in their early lives face stress at school, at home, especially with abusive parents, in relationships, and from their physical attributes. The young generation also faces tough economic times such as unemployment, leading to depression and drug abuse (Azagba et al., 2021). They become traumatized from these experiences and, therefore, indulge in drugs as a form of escape from reality.

Lastly, mental health problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, depression, and paranoiac lead to drug misuse. Most youths facing mental problems tend to look for ways to cope with these problems on their own because they lack support and guidance on how to cope with the issues (Azagba et al., 2021). The easiest coping method that they can get is drug use which they indulge in excessively. Many other reasons cause drug abuse but the ones listed above are the most common causes.

How Drug Abuse in the Youths Affects Other People

Drugs are pretty expensive, especially when one is an addict. The youths are mostly not well-financed to keep on purchasing these drugs, and hence they become criminals and sometimes use violence to get the money for the drugs (Matsumoto & Juang, 2017). Most of them do not even realize they have a problem until much later when they find themselves making these decisions to get the drugs without thinking of the consequences (Andersen, 2019). People living with these young individuals often live with the fear of being attacked and robbed constantly, and they are forced to change their routine.

High Levels of Misconduct

The youths that indulge in drug abuse develop some inappropriate behaviours that make other people uncomfortable. Some dressing codes are too revealing, promoting sexual promiscuity and indulging in many parties that will involve drinking alcohol and other illegal substances. Society worries over these behaviours, especially if they disregard the place’s culture (Matsumoto & Juang, 2017). For example, if the culture dictates that the youth should not indulge in sexual activities until marriage, and then the youths do precisely that, the society might feel like they are losing their culture.

How Drug Abuse Affects the Psychology of the Diverse Population

Drug abuse leads to overdose, which primarily results in the victims’ deaths if the issue is not addressed immediately. These constant demises of youths leave people feeling vulnerable and worried that all their children and relatives would succumb to death due to drug misuse. Grief changes people since they become distant, emotionally unavailable, and easily provoked (Andersen, 2019). Misery makes them react to petty arguments with many unnecessary animosities that affect most of their relationships. People constantly fear what might happen to them or their close families; hence they get stressed. People in society begin developing personality disorders from too much worrying about the conditions of the people they love and get concerned about society’s security.


Dealing with drug and substance abuse has been a great challenge all over the world. Drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin are being misused daily worldwide. The high demand for these drugs has created a multi-million dollar industry that involves cartels ready to do anything to stay afloat in this business. This has, in return, made it impossible for governments and other agencies to deal with drug and substance abuse. It is clear that these drugs have diverse effects on their users, and the government should not relent on fighting them.


Andersen, S. (2019). Stress, sensitive periods, and substance abuse. Neurobiology of Stress, 10, 100140. Web.

Azagba, S., Shan, L., Qeadan, F., & Wolfson, M. (2021). Unemployment rate, opioids misuse, and other substance abuse: Quasi-experimental evidence from treatment admissions data. BMC Psychiatry, 21(1). Web.

Matsumoto, D., & Juang, L. (2017). Culture and psychology (6th ed.). Cengage Learning.