The Impact of Drugs on Society

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The Impact of Drugs on Society

Drugs have effects on society in many different ways. The negative

consequences of drug abuse affect not only individuals who abuse drugs but

also their families and friends, various businesses, and government

resources. The ONDCP (2202) discusses the effects of drug abuse.

“Although many of these affects cannot be quantified, ONDCP reported that

in 2002, the economic cost of drug abuse to the United States was $180.9

billion.”( )

Devastating to an abuser’s health is the contraction of needle borne

illnesses including hepatitis and HIV/AIDS through injection use. NDDUH

data indicate that “in 2004 over 3.5 million individuals aged 18 and older

admitted to having injecting a illicit drug during their lifetime. Of these

individuals, 14 percent (498,000) were under the age of 25.”The Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 123,235 adults living

with AIDS in the United States in 2003 contracted the disease from injection

use. The survival rates for those people is less than someone who contracted

the disease other ways. CDC further reports that more than 25,000 people

died in 2003 from drug-induced effects.

National-level studies have shown that parents who abuse drugs often

put their need to obtain and abuse drugs before the health and welfare of

their children. NSDUH data collected during 2002 and 2003 indicate that 4.3

percent of pregnant women aged 15 to 44 report using illicit drugs in the

past month. Moreover the same data (National Drug Threat assesment2006

P.1) the same data show that 8.5 percent of new mothers report using illicit

drugs in the past month. Children whose parents and other family members

abuse drugs often are physically or emotionally abused and often lack proper

immunizations, medical care dental care, and necessities such as food, water,

and shelter.

The economic impact of drug abuse on businesses whose employees

abuse drugs can be significant. Quest Diagnostics, a nationwide firm that

conducts employee drug tests for employers, reported that 5.7 percent of the

drug tests the conducted on individuals involved in an employment-related

accident in 2004 were positive. Economically businesses are affected

because employees who abuse drugs sometimes steal cash or supplies,

equipment, and products than can be sold to get money to by drugs.

Moreover, absenteeism, lost productivity, and increased use of medical and

insurance benefits by employees who abuse drugs affect a business


The economic consequences of drug abuse severely burden federal,

state, and local government resources and, ultimately, the taxpayer. This

effect is the most evident with methamphetamine. Clandestine

methamphetamine production sites have been seriously injured or killed as a

result of methamphetamine production. ( (p.2). According

to the DEA, the average cost to clean up a methamphetamine production

laboratory is $1,900. Given that an average of 9,777 methamphetamine

laboratory seizures were reported to NCLSS each year between 2002 and

2004, the economic impact is obvious. Nonetheless, resources of state and

local agencies also are significantly affected. For example, 69 percent of the

country officials responding to a 2005 survey by the National Association of

Countries report that they had to develop additional training and special

protocols for county welfare workers who work with children exposed to

methamphetamine.( (p.3)

Drug addiction continues to be a major concern for society and the

concerns grow with every passing year. Drug addictions debilitating effects

range from financial, to functional, emotional and should by no means taken

lightly. With the rising number of addiction cases and the decreasing

average age of addicts.(...
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