Essay On Drug Addiction And Government


Drug addiction and substance abuse is a major issue that has been spreading throughout the United States. The issue of drug addiction and substance issues has spurred countless discussions and debates about the nature of addiction, how and why it affected a large percentage of the population, and what means and measures can be applied in order to curb the impact of substance abuse and drug addiction among the American population. The additional statistics measured in 2021 in America showed that about 22 million people living in the United States were suffering from active substance abuse disorder at the time (Kolla, Touesnard & Gomes, 2022). Similarly, it was found that a total of 45 million people were directly affected by the impact of drug-based addiction (Smith & Hiller, 2021). This raises major concern regarding the rate at which the people of the United States are being affected and impacted, whether directly or indirectly by drug addiction and substance abuse.  Through surveys and research, warrants have also been found that around 50 percent of people above the age of 12 have used illicit drugs at least once in their lifetime (Abuse & Office of the Surgeon General, 2018). Additionally, the total number of deaths due to drug overdose has been reaching almost a million people each year since the year 2000 (Gameon & Skewe, 2021). Such a dramatic impact on the lives of the people warrants major government intervention to ensure that the toll of drug addiction and substance abuse can be curbed throughout the country. This issue requires the intervention of the government because of its medical costs associated with the addiction on taxpayer money, health, family, community, crime, dangers for civil society, corruption, environment, and education. The aim of the paper is to understand the impact of drug addiction and substance abuse in America and propose potential means through which the increasing statistics and numbers can be effectively reduced. 


When approaching the subject of drug addiction and substance abuse, there are an array of aspects that are directly associated with it, which impacts both the individual as well as the government. When dealing with issues of substance abuse and addiction, there are multiple aspects that increase the cost that needs to be borne by the individuals. This is most commonly associated with increased medical costs. The medical costs of being afflicted with addiction increase. This results in major financial and social costs. Currently, each year, the estimated societal cost of illicit drugs comes to an average of $532 billion. This amount nearly consists of around 6 percent of the entire national income of the United States. It is estimated  that the total annual medical costs needed for the addressing of drug addiction and which is associated with SUD in hospitals all over the United States come to $13.2  billion. The cost-effective means through which prioritizing treatment along with the prevention of further drug addiction can be properly identified by analyzing the direct medical cost associated with treating and addressing patients who are addicts. The information allows for the understanding of the difference between addiction and medical costs. Such information also allows for the establishment of the connection between addiction and substance abuse with the increased taxes in recent years.  The data presented shows that drug addiction and substance abuse has a direct connection which contributes to the increase in taxes. The increase in taxes not only affects individuals who are directly affected by addiction but also affects those who are associated with people who are addicted and also social institutions like hospitals and rehabilitation centers (Pitt, Humphrey & Brandeau, 2018).  This impact on taxes due to drug addiction and substance abuse can be properly and can be effectively addressed by government intervention.
Another essential reason for which drug and substance abuse should be considered to be a governmental issue is the fact that if the issue is left unattended and un interventioned with, then it would lead to the increase in unemployment throughout the United States (Mulligan, 2022). The more people and citizens become addicted, the more they will be consumed in their next fix of drugs to satisfy their addiction rather than looking for a job or any form of employment. Similarly, those who are addicted to drugs or have a long-standing history of substance abuse would find it difficult to gain employment (Hunter & Nida, 2021).  As stated by the Social Connection Theory of Johann Hari, addiction and drug abuse are psychological illnesses. But more so is a social illness (Hari, 2015). The theory lays down the understanding that addiction is majorly caused due to the nature of the social connection that the individual forms in society.  Multiple theories of behavior also validate this understanding. Through stimulus-response learning or habits, people develop a routine in which the intake of drugs becomes a norm (Vandaele & Ahmed, 2021). Similarly, the high or pleasure that is derived through the intake of drugs brings forth inhibitory salience or craving which makes individuals seek out more drugs, and through the natural connections made in society, these cravings can be easily met (Sinha, 2009). Finally, the main addictive factor of illicit drugs is the positive reinforcements or pleasure that the drug gives in the first place. This pleasure is a major factor that makes drugs addictive in the first place. Especially when seen through the lens of individuals having unsatisfactory lives and connections living in society (Pickard, 2020). In order to help curb the spread of drug-based addiction through the channels discussed by the theories, the government of the United States may take up initiatives with the help of healthcare programs. The government show initiative through the provision of healthy and accessible food and initiatives that are focus on skill development and similar programs and activities for the engaging  of people who are suffering from drug addiction and substance abuse (Horigian, Schmidt & Feaster, 2021).
The government of the United States has the responsibility to ensure that the young children of the country are able to receive proper information regarding socio-emotional and academic learning about the dangers and risks of drug addiction. The government of America is responsible for the effective spread of information learning about drugs and substance abuse for children at school. Learning about the implication and ramifications of the type of drug addiction and substance abuse from an early age can help in the spreading  of awareness and potentially curb the rise of addiction cases in the future. By spreading awareness about the harmful impact of drugs, the government of the United States can actively take part in the prevention of  young minds experimenting with drugs in the future. The intervention of the government can effectively control the influence of different factors such as, social status, culture, gender, and even ethnicity on the spread of drug addiction and substance abuse throughout the United States. Cocaine abuse is an epidemic in the United States which has managed to plague almost every generation. Around 0.7 percent of all 12-year-old children each month find themselves addicted to the white drug. Additionally, over 850,000 Americans across the country have cocaine addiction with DSM-IV criteria. To curb and prevent the increase of such numbers and statistics, the government of America must intervene by taking initiatives the spreading awareness regarding the harm and impact of drugs at right from the educational level.  The spreading of awareness at school and educational institutions would allow for children and young minds to gain a better understanding of the impact and ramifications of experimentation with illicit drugs. 


Throughout America, there is a huge issue of drug addiction and substance abuse. The increasing impact of the growing number of drug addicts has become a serious issue to the point that it can cause economic loss. Similarly, the increased rate of drug addiction can cause irregularity in employment as more and more people focus on finding more durg to state their addiction rather than looking for jobs. Similarly, unchecked rates of  drug addciiton and substance abuse can also result in economical loss not only for the the individuals but also for those asscoiated with them, hospitals, and also the government of the United States as a whole. Through the various theories of addiction, it can be understood the cause behind addiction. Understanding the theories of craving, habit and pleasure can help the government formulate different initiatives for spreading awareness about the meaning which drugs becoming addictive and the direct and indirect impact of drug addiction and substance abuse. There is a crucial need for intervention from the Government of the United States for the reduction of rates of addiction and substance abuse in the country. This is especially true and important in teenagers before the new generation succumbs to illicit drug abuse causing the rates of addiction to soar to unmanageable levels. As such, at this point,  governmental intervention is an unavoidable step in the fight against drug addiction and substance abuse so that both the new generation can be protected while those who are already suffering due to substance abuse disorders can be aided. 

Reference List 

Kolla, G., Touesnard, N., & Gomes, T. (2022). Addressing the overdose crisis in North America with bold action:(Alcoholism and Drug Addiction). Addiction, 1194-1196.
Smith, M. F., & Hiller, H. C. (2021). influence of drug abuse on human health in United States of America. African Journal of Emerging Issues, 3(11), 16-28.
Mulligan, C. B. (2022). Lethal Unemployment Bonuses? Substitution and Income Effects on Substance Abuse, 2020-21 (No. w29719). National Bureau of Economic Research.
Hunter, R. E., & Nida, R. A. (2021). Increased Misuse of Alcohol and Drugs among Unemployed during COVID-19 Pandemic. Open Journal of Business and Management, 9(3), 1480-1491.
Gameon, J. A., & Skewes, M. C. (2021). Historical trauma and substance use among American Indian people with current substance use problems. Psychology of addictive behaviors, 35(3), 295.
Abuse, S., US, M. H. S. A., & Office of the Surgeon General (US. (2018). Facing Addiction in America.
Pitt, A. L., Humphreys, K., & Brandeau, M. L. (2018). Modeling health benefits and harms of public policy responses to the US opioid epidemic. American journal of public health, 108(10), 1394-1400.
Horigian, V. E., Schmidt, R. D., & Feaster, D. J. (2021). Loneliness, mental health, and substance use among US young adults during COVID-19. Journal of psychoactive drugs, 53(1), 1-9.
Hari, J. (2015). The likely cause of addiction has been discovered, and it is not what you think. The Huffpost.
Pickard, H. (2020). What we're not talking about when we talk about addiction. Hastings center report, 50(4), 37-46.
Sinha, R. (2009). Modeling stress and drug craving in the laboratory: implications for addiction treatment development. Addiction biology, 14(1), 84-98.
Vandaele, Y. & Ahmed, S.H., (2021). Habit, choice, and addiction. Neuropsychopharmacology, 46(4), pp.689-698
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