Substance abuse doesn’t just hinder one’s body; it hinders their entire life. It can be observed that drugs overall are bad, for lack of a better word. It is something that has had an effect on unbelievably large amounts of people for decades upon decades. The increase in usage among the people of today’s generation is astonishingly large. Many researchers and just average people generally tend to put the spotlight on the matter of health as opposed to what it does to the user’s family and peers. It often goes unsaid just how influential the matter is when it comes to relationships, whether it be a father of three, a single mother, or even a young adolescent. More focus needs to be shifted onto this topic when discussing and researching the improper use of substances within a person’s life.
There can be so many different factors and reasons as to what causes a person to make the choice to participate in substance abuse. This topic is known for bringing the nature vs nurture question up. There have been many studies that were conducted to test the two theories and which one has the effect, but it sometimes can be difficult to decipher what the actual underlying causes are. It has been quite a controversial discussion among many people for many years. Some say that a person’s decision in which they make are in correlation to their genetic information in their DNA.
The people on the opposing side of this debate, however, strongly support the idea that decisions and behavioral-related issues are ultimately plagued by the outside environment in which the person is subjected to from the moment they are birthed, through adolescence, and all through adulthood. According to Gene-Environment Correlation, “…active gene environment correlations related to individual differences…contributed to an early, high-risk trajectory for adolescent substance abuse.” (Knafo 119-32) This statement suggests that both genetic information and environmental factors may be the causes in one’s choice to begin abusing the use of substances. The article discusses how both the genetic and environmental influences seemed to have overlapped each other in some way, which basically means both of the determining factors play a role in the decision-making process.
One can be blunt and state, “Drugs are bad.” It’s a common phrase that is very unappreciated by some people. They are words they have been reiterated among school children for decades. Truth be told, though, it doesn’t get much simpler than that. Drugs are indeed “bad”. Harmful seems to be a more suitable word choice for this subject matter.
Outsiders, in many cases, tend to focus on the social standard of substance abuse. This means that it is very easy to simply glance at a user and automatically assume that they have no money and have a poor an unacceptable status on the economic ladder. However, they don’t always ponder the physical and mental aspects of partaking in substance abuse.
Drugs can have a detrimental effect on not just the physical body, but the ability to communicate and show satisfactory cooperation with other as well. “…found significant individual variability in initial levels and rates of change in antisocial behavior over time…” (Hussong 1029-46) This claim aids in the understanding that substance abuse can ultimately encourage antisocial behavior in a person over an extended period-of-time. The article talks about how drugs can be a result in elevations that are time-specific in social behavior. The more that someone uses, the more of a negative impact will be inflicted upon both their social and behavioral abilities.
One can sit here all day and discuss the uncountable reasons as to why substance abuse is harmful to the physical aspects of a person’s body, but something should be said concerning the negative impact that drugs have on a family as a whole unit. There have been unimaginable amounts of occasions of children being taken away from their parents or guardians because of the inability to remain clean.
Not to mention, the number cases involving abuse by a family member that uses is unreal. This isn’t even including the vast amount of drug-related domestic violence cases that go unreported every single day. These unfortunate events are one of the main reasons why the amount of orphans and children involved in foster care are so high in the United States.
There is a tremendously high rate of crime involving family drug abuse altercations among the nation. The Impact of Substance Abuse states, “The family remains the primary source of attachment, nurturing, socialization for humans in our current society. Therefore, the impact of substance abuse disorders on the family and individual family members merits attention. Each family and each family member is uniquely affected by the individual using substances…”
( Lander 194-205) Each member of a family doesn’t just express concern regarding the well-being of the user, but also the user not being the same person that they once were before. A gradual and painful event such as that can be traumatic to experience, especially if it is involving someone of importance. Children seem to have the most difficulty because they are unable to independently provide constant attention and care for themselves when a father is off on a bender, or when a single father works the graveyard shift while the mother is off with a bag of coke and her next meal ticket. No matter the circumstance, drugs can ultimately ruin a healthy family.
When it all comes down to it, it can be said that drugs have the unfortunate power to negatively impact every single aspects of a person’s life, and at the exact same time, alter their family members’ and loved ones’ lives as well. Many people every day make the wrong decision and choose to let a harmful and useless substance control their lives and determine the path of life in which they take. Drugs can ruin lives, but with strength, it is an obstacle that has the potential to be overcome.
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