Drug Abuse in the United States essay


Drug abuse is the main public health concern in America. Researchconfirms that more than 20 million Americans are either abusing drugsor ex-addicts (Alcoholrehab.com, 2016). The NationalInstitute on Drug Abuse acknowledges that drug abuse results inextreme expenses to states amounting to more than $18 billion everyyear (Alcoholrehab.com, 2016).

This is because abusing drugs has major negative impacts onproductivity and wellbeing. It is not only a public health issue, butalso one that affects the social wellbeing of society. When peopleabuse drugs it contributes to domestic brutality, accidents, thecollapse of families, unemployment, education challenges andincreased crime rates.

The number of deaths due to drug overdoses in the country continuesto increase every year. Close to 10% of individuals aged 12 years andabove were abusing drugs as at 2014 (AOL News, 2015). Drugtrends indicate that marijuana is the most well known abused drug inAmerica. Millions of civilians are currently using marijuana and80.6% of illegal drug users take the substance (AOL News,2015). When compared to other North American and European nations,the World Health Organization found that America ranks firstin the incidence of marijuana use (AOL News, 2015).

Heroin abuse represents another substance that has recordedremarkable increase in abuse as compared to the previous decade.There has been more than 100% increase in mortality arising fromheroin overdose from 2010 to 2013 (AOL News, 2015). Thefigures of the substance overdose among users progresses to triple.

Apart from heroin and marijuana, Americans also abuseover-the-counter medicine, tobacco and alcohol. The Centers forDiseases Control notes that 44 individuals pass away daily due tooveruse of sedative pain relievers such as “hydrocodone (vicodin),methadone, oxycodone (oxycontin), and oxymorphone (opana) (AOLNews, 2015).” The deaths have increased by four times thenumber of those recorded in the 1990s.

Alcohol abuse is the third major cause of drug abuse deaths inAmerica. The drug is linked with the mortality of 88,000 Americansevery year. It is specifically an issue of concern due to itsconnection with motor vehicle accidents, “according to the CDC,almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashesthat involve an alcohol-impaired driver every day, amounting to onedeath every 51 minutes (AOL News, 2015).”

Despite the decline in tobacco use in the United States, the drugprogresses to be a major cause of avoidable fatality in the nation.Health care expenses due to use of the substance total to billionsevery year. Tobacco manufacturers continue to spend close to $9.6billion advertising the drug, which encourages people to continueusing it (AOL News, 2015).

Drug abuse in America is escalated by the inability of addicts toaccess treatment. People dealing with substance abuse dependence haverestricted access to health services. It is specifically difficultfor addicts that lack private medical insurance. Services funded bythe government to assist the addicts are overstrained, lack adequatefunds and resources (Alcoholrehab.com, 2016). As a result, theservices are ineffective in rehabilitating drug abusers, which leadsto high rates of relapse.

High relapse rates only heighten the worsening drug abuse problem inAmerica. As more individuals continue to use substances they become apublic menace who can only be handled via imprisonment. The JusticePolicy Institute notes that with above 2 million persons in USprisons, 25% of the prisoners have been imprisoned due to drugrelated crimes (Alcoholrehab.com, 2016). The Americangovernment must take immediate action to deal with the drug abusemenace.


Alcoholrehab.com. (2016). Drug addiction in the United States.Retrieved from:http://alcoholrehab.com/drug-addiction/drug-addiction-in-the-united-states/

AOL News. (2015). Alarming state of drug abuse in the UnitedStates. Retrieved from:http://www.aol.com/article/2015/12/21/state-of-drug-abuse-in-the-united-states/21285711/