Social Problems Like Drugs

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You must have come across public message such as
'Say No to Drugs', 'Drugs Kill', 'Never Even Try Once'.
Drug addiction is a major problem in today's world.
Illegal drugs industry has been estimated to be the second largest industry in the world. Drugs destroy human beings, families and societies.
Drug addiction no longer remains as isolated problem.
After the emergence of HIV/AIDS as a major public health crisis, drug addiction is seen as compounding the AIDS problem. The question is how. Are drug addicts more vulnerable to AIDS? What is the relationship between drugs and HIV infection?


In this unit, we will discuss the relationship between drug addiction and HIV/AIDS. We can deal with this problem by spreading information and motivating the youth. After reading this unit, you should be able to:

Explain how drug addiction can transmit HIV infection through: a) Injecting drugs
b) Sexual intercourse
c) Blood transfusion
Describe the drugs that cause addiction and their relation with HIV transmission.

What is a drug? It is a chemical substance, which produces distinct physical and/ or psychological effects. Usually, physicians prescribe it for treatment purposes. Many drugs become a habit and cause addiction through their effect on brain and nervous system. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines drug addiction as the state of periodic and chronic intoxication produced by the repeated consumption of a drug (natural or synthetic). Such a drug causes:

an overpowering desire or need (compulsion) to continue taking the drug and obtain it by any means;
an inclination to increase the dose;
a psychological or physical dependence on the effects of the drug; and finally, detrimental effects on the individual and society.


Like the majority of other mental-health problems, drug abuse and addiction have no single cause. However, there are a number of biological, psychological, and social factors, called risk factors, that can increase a person's likelihood of developing a chemical-abuse or chemical-dependency disorder. The frequency to which substance-abuse disorders occur within some families seems to be higher than could be explained by an addictive environment of the family. Therefore, most substance-abuse professionals recognize a genetic aspect to the risk of drug addiction. Psychological associations with substance abuse or addiction include mood disorders like depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder, as well as personality disorders like antisocial personality disorder. Social risk factors for drug abuse and addiction include male gender, being between 18 and 44 years of age, Native-American heritage, unmarried marital status, and lower socioeconomic status. According to statistics by state, people residing in the West tend to be at higher risk for chemical abuse or dependency. While men are more at risk for developing a chemical dependency like alcoholism, women seem to be more vulnerable to becoming addicted to alcohol at much lower amounts of alcohol consumption.


Drug abuse poses various kinds of problems impacting not just on the individual user, but also on the family and community. The adverse impact of drug use on families is tremendous.
It is the family to which the dependent user turns to or turns on either in emotional or physical distress or crisis. Relationships suffer, financial sources get depleted, health costs increase. There are greater employment problems and increased emotional stress. When the drug user stops taking responsibilities on account of drug use, common family responses include depression, stress and resentment. The non-drug using partner may also take to drugs or alcohol for solace. The consequences of drug abuse is often more wretched for families in precarious or povertystricken circumstances. Sexual relationships can become adversely affected....
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