Free «Chemical Dependence: Crisis of Addiction» Essay Sample

Chemical Dependence: Crisis of Addiction

Substance abuse has always been and remains a serious problem for the American society, regardless of age of its members. The issue of substance addiction involves several psychological, biological, social and economic factors. Today, countless amount of drug dealers use to enrich through the distribution of narcotic substances, hurting, thus, the national economy and social wellness of Americans. In this regards, sociocultural determinants and aspects of drug abuse and dynamics of addiction should be studied more closely in order to evaluate the damage caused by drugs.

Drug addiction strongly depends on such factors of gender, age, ethnicity and race, income level, sexual orientation, and educational attainment. Besides, drug addiction depends on community, household, and interpersonal dynamics. Among adolescents, substance abuse is influenced by peer pressure, family, and social networks. Recent researches suggest, for instance, that marijuana exposure, on the part of siblings and friends, is the primary determinant of current marijuana use among adolescents ("Substance abuse," 2014). According to recent researches, America currently takes 60 percent from the global drug market, which population makes 6 percent of the world's (Moorehead, 2007). Experts claim that drugs widespread use is caused by financial crisis, fear of workplace loss, drugs availability, and the desire to escape the cruel reality (Blair, 2011).

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According to the U.S. Department of Health, drugs and alcohol cause damage of $294 billion to the country's economy annually. Both direct, and indirect costs were considered at calculation: expenditures for medicine, maintenance of law enforcement agencies, elimination of consequences of the road accidents caused by drivers in a condition of drug intoxication, compensation to victims of the crimes committed by criminals in a condition of drug intoxication, work decline in production, etc. (Doweiko, 2012). Besides, drug addiction has its devastating physical and psychological cost. Psychologically, chemical substances can cause various feelings from euphoria to sharp depression or suicidal thoughts. Physically, drugs intoxication can cause various physical effects ranging from slowed breathing and sleepiness to a rapid heart rate. In terms of long-term effects, substances are even more harmful and life threatening than in terms of short effects (James, 2008).

The U.S. law defines and punishes cases of crimes and accidents committed under the drug operation. The addicted persons usually practice vandalism, violence against their families and friends, stealing for to receive money for drugs, etc. From their part, drug dealers often resort to force and violence against other drug dealers. According to reports of the FBI, in 2009, there were approximately 1.7 million arrests associated with drug abuse violations. Besides, in the USA, more than 1.4 million of arrests are performed for driving under the influence of drugs annually. Drugged driving is the major cause of disability, injury and death of the youth ("Alcohol, drugs and crime," n.d.).

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Several researches showed that suicides committed under the influence of drugs are 6 times oftener in comparison to those committed under other influences (Ilgen, & Kleinberg, 2011). Statistics shows that 86.4 percent of the registered homicide cases are committed under the influence of substances ("The link between drugs and homicide," 2002). In addition, drug abuse affects interpersonal relations dramatically, leading to disharmony in families and at workplaces. Drug abusers usually mingle in the companies of other drug users, which supports the drug abuse. As a result, being influenced by such groups, a person hardly can break away from substance addiction ("Substance abuse and interpersonal relationships," 2014).

Before drug addiction can be treated, its dynamics should be studied. Scientists define several stages of the substance abuse dynamics. For example, denial is manifested when a person refuses to recognize any events or actions and accept them. Denial is considered to be one of the most primitive defense mechanism since it is usually characteristic for early childhood. Every day, many people use denial in order to avoid painful feelings or unwished aspects of life. For instance, substance addicted use to deny their dependence, pointing to their success in career performance and relationships. Displacement of the event hurting the individual's mind with the use of drugs is another defense mechanism. For example, abandoned lover tries to forget bad memories associated with the incident and expel them from the memory through the escape from the reality by means of drug abuse. Besides, displacement usually has aggressive manifestations, being directed on the surrounding people. As a result, it is a rather inefficient mechanism because misapplication of negative emotions to other harmless people leads to additional problems (Ferguson, 2012).

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Projection occurs when a person attributes his or her own thoughts, feelings and motives to the others. In other words, he or she explains others acts due to own motives attributed to the person. For example, the bright representative of a group of people using a projection is a husband experiencing jealousy. Projection is usually a result of absence of acknowledgement and insight of one's own feelings and motives. Rationalization is reflected in giving justificatory reasonable explanations to already rendered events or, on the contrary, person's inaction. For example, a person may start claiming that he or she takes drugs because of having deep depression or working hard. One more mechanism of defense is intellectualization, which helps the person to separate his or her emotions from behavior. Intellectualization example can be addicted person who tries to deflect attention from discussions about the harm of drugs by engaging in debates over legalization of substances (Ferguson, 2012).

Taking into account all abovementioned information, it should be noted that chemical abuse greatly affects such aspect of the United States wellbeing as the economy, social health, and interpersonal relations. According to statistics, young people are most exposed to drug abuse. Significant amount of crimes and road accidents occur because of drug abuse, leading to numerous deaths and injuries of young people. In this regard, the U.S. law is directed on active combat against drug spread and intake.