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Drug Addiction

Today, the problem of drug addiction is one of the most dangerous challenges the modern society is facing. In actuality, the problem of drug addiction and drug-related problems, such as crimes, expose the society to serious threats which can undermine the stability of the existing social order. In this respect, it is worth mentioning the growing crime rates related to the drug abuse, because drug addiction is one of the major causes of violent and property crimes.

At the same time, the problem of drug abuse cannot be solved if causes and factors that provoke the drugs abuse are not clearly identified. In other words, in order to solve the problem, it is necessary to identify its causes and through their elimination the problem can be solved. Consequently, it is very important to research causes of the drugs abuse and factors that provoke drug consumption and addiction. The understanding of causes and factors provoking the drugs abuse is possible on the condition of a profound research of the problem, which should be based on both quantitative and qualitative analysis. The quantitative analysis will help to identify the extent to which the problem of the drugs abuse is widely spread in the modern society, major risk groups vulnerable to the drugs abuse. At the same time, the qualitative analysis will help to identify major causes and factors that influence the development of the drugs abuse. At the same time, it is important to identify risk groups, i.e. groups of people which are particularly vulnerable to the drugs addiction. At this point, it is necessary to pay a particular attention to the population, where the drug abuse is particularly widely spread, which is the poor and non-white population, where the share of drug abuse is very high compared to the share of this population in the total population of the country.

In such a way, it is obvious that the drug addiction is a complex problem that needs an efficient solution that can be found only in the result of the detailed analysis of the problem and its causes.

In actuality, the problem of the drug addiction can hardly be underestimated because the drugs abuse provokes a number of problems which affect not only the life of a drug addict, but also his or her social environment. Moreover, many specialists (Haden, 1997) argue that the drug abuse is not a problem of an individual but it is rather a problem of the society. In this respect, it is important to distinguish two dimensions of the problem of the drugs abuse. On the one hand, the drugs abuse may be viewed as a threat to the society because a drug addict can be potentially dangerous, especially when he or she cannot afford buying drugs. As a result, addicts are forced to commit crimes and the number of drug related crimes steadily grows. In such a context, the development of the drugs abuse naturally leads to the rise of crime rates which affect the society dramatically. The rise of the drug-related crimes undermine the stability within the society as people feel unsecure, while the state needs to increase its spending on the maintenance of law enforcement agencies and penitentiary system to prevent drug-related crimes and punish criminals.

On the other hand, the problem of the drugs abuse heavily depends on the social environment of drug addicts. In this respect, many specialists (Koob, 1997) insist that an individual cannot cope with the problem of the drugs abuse independently. Instead, a drug addict needs the assistance of relatives, friends, health care professionals as well as social workers and, what is more, the community at large. In other words, drug addicts need the assistance of the society to solve the problem of the drugs abuse. Consequently, the problem of the drugs abuse does not only affect society but it also needs the assistance of the society to get solved.

As for causes of drug addiction, specialists (Nestler and Malenka, 2004) single out the natural desire of individuals to escape from stressful reality and enjoy euphoria after taking drugs. At the same time, specialists (Wilbur, 1997) stress that the euphoria does not always accompany the process of taking drugs. In fact, the longer an individual takes drugs the less is the chance to experience euphoria. Instead, drug addicts grow physiologically dependent on drugs and they cannot stop taking drugs because of consistent physiological changes which cause physical sufferings when addicts stop taking drugs. At this point, it is possible to single out another reason or cause why people abuse drugs, i.e. physiological addiction to drugs.

Furthermore, many specialists (Haden, 1997) stress the negative impact of the environment of drug addicts. To put it more precisely, they argue that a negative social environment, where the drug consumption is a norm or where the drug consumption is widely-spread, can lead to the development of drug addiction in an individual. At this point, it is possible to refer to researches which prove the fact that drug addicts living in the environment, where other people take drugs regularly or where drugs are easily available, are not just more vulnerable to the drugs abuse, but they can face serious difficulties, when they attempt to stop taking drugs. In fact, in such environment, drug addicts cannot recover from their addiction and, even if they stop taking drugs for a short period of time, they renew taking drugs in the course of time.

On the other hand, some specialists believe that the problem of the drug addiction and drug abuse is an inherited problem (Leavitt, 2003). However, at this point, it is important to precise that heredity does not necessarily mean that people will become drug addicts because of their heredity or genes. In fact, heredity rather increases the risk of the development of the drug addiction, making people more vulnerable to the development of this problem, when they are put in the specific environment where they can get drugs and take them regularly.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the problem of the drugs abuse exists and it needs to be solved. However, in order to solve this problem, it is necessary to conduct an extensive research of the problem to understand its essence and major factors and reasons which make people abusing drugs. To meet this goal, it is necessary to apply both qualitative and quantitative methods of the analysis which complement each other and provide researchers with reliable and valid results of the study. At the same time, it is possible to use existing researches to get the general information on the problem which is being studied. Finally, it is important to involve drug addicts in the study to obtain information from the primary sources.



Beaudoin, C. (1997). A Comparison of In-treatment Female Alcoholics and Female Alcoholics from the General Population. Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba.
Haden, M. (1997). Program Evaluation Report: The Central Clinic. Alcohol and Drug Services, Ministry for Children and Families, Province of British Columbia.
Harvey-Jansen, Z.A. (1995). Adolescent Treatment: Excellence Through Evaluation. Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission.
Koob, G.F. (1997). “The Neurobiology of Drug Addiction.” J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci; 9:482-497 [1]
Leavitt, F. (2003). The Real Drug Abusers. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.
Nestler, E. and Malenka, R. (Mar. 2004). “The Addicted Brain”. Scientific American, pg. 78-83.
Wilbur, B.D. (1997). Health Standards: Edition 1. Public Health Services and Drug Dependency Services. Nova Scotia Department of Health.
Wolf, M. (2002). “Addiction: Making the Connection Between Behavioral Changes and Neuronal Plasticity.” in Specific Pathways Molecular Interventions, 2:146-157[2]