Not Everyone Addicted to Drugs Is a Bad Person

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Drug Abuse Doesn’t Happen to Just Bad People
By Jessica Groves

Does doing drugs automatically make you a “bad” person? Of course there are those out there who become bad people as a result of being addicted to certain drugs. Drugs are pretty easy to come by, and even easier to become addicted to. Especially in today’s economy, many people have a variety of problems, from peer pressure to past traumas to mental illness. Many people addicted to drugs are just trying to deal with their personal issues and problems. Peer pressure is a big issue for all teenagers in our society. Many teens start doing drugs to be part of the group, and never expect to become an addict. Slightly more than 25% of adolescents, ages 14 to 17, have used illegal drugs (Huebeck). The National Survey on Drug Use and Health states that 8% of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17, which is over 2 million, in the United States meet diagnostic criteria for abuse or dependence on illicit drugs. Some studies show that the most susceptible teenagers are those in the “popular” group, because they pay attention to what their peers value. While other studies show that the teenagers who socially are not accepted have a higher likelihood of using, and becoming addicted to, drugs.

Mental illness is another major reason why adolescents and adults start using drugs and eventually become dependent. Chronic drug abuse may occur in concurrence with any mental illness identified in the American Psychiatric Association (DSMIV). Some common serious mental disorders associated with chronic drug abuse include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, manic depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and generalized anxiety disorder (National Drug Intelligence Center). Some people may use drugs on a regular basis as a way to self medicate themselves if they are dealing with any of these mental illnesses (Crotts). Co-occurring disorders are very common. In 2002 an estimated 4 million adults met...
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