Drug And Alcohol Use In Society

The war against drugs and alcohol is just another battle the United States finds itself knee-deep in. Over the years, studies have shown that the number of people addicted to alcohol and drugs continues to skyrocket almost uncontrollably. In spite of our nation’s best efforts—harsher laws, more impressive help programs—nothing seems to be working, and the hole we’re digging ourselves into continues to get deeper. There was a time when these things were considered cool, party-friendly activities. That isn’t the case anymore. It’s gone from fun to deadly, and our nation is sick and isn’t healing.

Is it shocking to know that Americans, which contribute to only 4% of the world’s total population, consume almost two-thirds of the world’s illegal drugs? Or, how about, the fact that a good chunk of our 4% using these drugs are teenagers. That’s right—kids who are in middle school and high school are having just as much “fun,” and contribute just as much to the epidemic that is drug and alcohol abuse as their parents. Here are some numbers you may find frightening:

  • 61 million Americans are addicted to cigarettes.
  • Almost 20 million are addicted to alcohol or abuse it regularly.
  • Over 15 million abuse prescription drugs.
  • Over two million use coke.
  • Over two million children have used steroids.

What does this mean? Well, the effects of this epidemic aren’t hard to see. Billions of dollars are attributed to substance abuse and addiction (and the majority of the people who seek this help don’t get better). This is tax-payer dollars circling the drain year after year; it leads to nowhere. Substance abuse is also playing a much large role in accidental deaths across the nation. Overdosing has never been easier (especially with the combination of so many different drugs nowadays), and is credited as one of the leading causes of death for our youth.

You may be wondering how we can fix this devastating problem. The most important thing to remember is that this is a disease – it isn’t just a lack of care, or the decision to have “fun” and forget about responsibilities. We, the people, need to take control and demand reform. Better education about more information containing substance abuse made readily accessible to the people. We need tighter restrictions, and even stricter codes on drugs and alcohol. We need to make changes.