Drug and alcohol abuse are like voluntary suicide. The effects of substance abuse are vast and problematic in every society. Substance abuse aids the spread of AIDS, pun intended. Substance abuse leads to the death of millions: people who are abusers and people who become the victims of the abusers. Substance abuse lowers everyday performance in adolescents and adults. The media feeds of off substance abuse stories and sends mixed messages to the targets audiences. More than anything else, substance abusers inflict more harm on others than themselves.
“Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV, the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [AIDS]) has dramatically increased the adverse health consequences of injecting drug use, not only for the individual user, but also for user’s sexual partners and children, and for the community as a whole.” (Lowinson, 1997, p. 913) AIDS can be easily transferred to people who share needles to use drugs, a mother who breast feeds her child and sexually active individuals. (Lowinson, 1997, p. 913) Drug abuse is the main contributing factor to the spread of AIDS in many countries around the world and it can be spread quite easily too.
Children whose parents are addicted to drugs usually end up with a lot of biological and psychological problems. The number of women who use drugs while they are pregnant is quite high but it still isn’t an accurate one. Many women who are heavy users of drugs currently or have been in the past do not report it to their doctors and some don’t use hospital facilities to give birth. A lot of substance abusing mothers go under the radar and if they ever do report themselves the numbers are supposed to skyrocket. Children of substance abusing mothers face to lose health and welfare benefits as time goes on and these children usually have a lot of disabilities and other physical or mental impairments. (Lowinson, 1997, p. 1013)
The statistics for teenager drug and alcohol abuse are staggeringly high. “A significant number of America teens use and abuse illicit and addictive substances. An estimated 1 in 5 teenagers (4.3 million) are current alcohol drinkers, 1 in 13 teenagers (1.7 million) are binge alcohol drinkers, and 400,000 adolescents are in need of substance abuse treatment. It is projected that the year 2010 will witness the largest number of adolescents in American history.”
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