December 16, 2011
Community and Culture play a role in determining the risk for alcohol and drug abuse.
Substance abuse and addiction are major problems in society today. Every segment of society, regardless of race, gender, or age is affected. Some of the substances that are used grow naturally, whereas others are manufactured illicitly or even legitimately in laboratories. They may be smoked, inhaled, ingested, or injected and used for social, religious, or self-medicating purposes. The substances that are abused include caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, steroids, stimulants, depressants, heroin, cocaine and the list goes on. Substance abuse ranks high among serious health problems. Since 1979 illicit drug use and alcohol consumption has declined, but the widespread use of and dependence on these substances continues. Nicotine, now classified by the Food and Drug Administration as an addictive substance, is linked to more deaths annually than AIDS, cancer, and other substances combined. Alcohol is also a major social problem today. Use and abuse of alcohol are a factor in contributing to injuries and death. The cost of substance abuse is increasing in our society. Lives are lost, and loss of work productivity costs millions of dollars each year. Alcohol is a factor in 40% of all motor vehicle accidents, and alcohol and other drugs are often implicated in boating or athletic accidents. Costs’ include not only lives lost but also medical care, long-term services to the disabled, and increased insurance rates. Health care cost for clients that use alcohol, drugs, and nicotine are estimated to be greater than $160 billion annually. It has been confirmed that there is link between violence and alcohol and other drugs. Alcohol and drugs are a factor in vandalism on college campuses, date rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence. Under the influence of alcohol and drugs, young adults are more likely to engage in unsafe sexual...