Growing up in Reading, Pennsylvania being raised in a lower class neighborhood by my maternal grandmother, I did not realize how different my life was from those outside my community. It was normal for me to see empty drug baggies on the ground, people coping drugs on the corner, condemned/ abandoned homes, and crime. As I got older and my network of people grew, I started to notice some differences. However, it was not until I left the area at age 18 to attend college did I fully realize that my "normal" was not the "normal." Most people I knew growing up were struggling with finances and had one or both parents addicted to drugs or alcohol and mines were no different. The 80s crack epidemic hit my family hard and by the end of that era my mother and 6 of her siblings were all addicted.
Some people argue that the drug users aren’t the heroin victims. One writer notes, 'The parents of the user who steals from them, abuses them, physically, emotionally and mentally, the siblings who suffer the loss of care and love but who also get abused and used by the user, the kids of the user who learn that the parent's desire for smack is greater than the desire to be a parent,' are the real heroin victims (Fitzgerald, 2000). This problem therefore effects not only the user but the society living around them as well.
Throughout “Chasing the Scream” many intriguing stories are told from individuals involved in the drug war, those on the outside of the drug war, and stories about those who got abused by the drug war. Addiction has many social causes that address drug use and the different effects that it has on different people. In our previous history we would see a tremendous amount of individuals able to work and live satisfying lives after consuming a drug. After the Harrison Act, drugs were abolished all at once, but it lead to human desperation so instead of improving our society, we are often the reason to the problem. We constantly look at addicts as the bad guys when other individuals are often the reasons and influences to someone’s decision in
Some people are likely to generalize about the causes of drug related crimes and say that they are simply related to people who do not do any good for our society. However, in certain instances drugs can be used as a source of income for people and they commit crimes in order to facilitate that goal (Nurco, 1998). These people have no way out of their drug lives and therefore may not necessarily choose this life style but are brought up into it.
Everyday people are peer pressured and influenced into multiple unhealthy behaviors. Acts such smoking, alcoholism, and unprotected intercourse are frequent issues in any lifestyle. Friends, family, and especially the media have a way of twisting a person’s mindset into believing these unhealthy choices are safe. Currently, the most reoccurring phenomenon is issues with drugs. More often than not, there are reports on people misusing and abusing drugs, particularly celebrities and athletes.
Human beings are naturally defensive and react in certain ways to things such as them feeling that someone is judging them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. When it comes to drug users, approaching an addict telling them “You must stop taking drugs!” or “Drugs are going to kill you!” has not and will never work. It is more effective and sensible to approach them by informing them of the dangers of a specific drug to inform them of the potential harms that come along with the abuse of the drug. This is exactly where the policy of Harm Reduction falls into place. “According to the International Harm Reduction Association (2002) harm reduction is described as policies and programs which attempt primarily to reduce the adverse health, social and economic consequences of mood altering substances to individual drug users, their families and communities, without [necessarily] requiring decrease in drug use.(Perez)”
People in general disillusion themselves into thinking that the junkies seen in the street somehow could have avoided their addiction. “…No way I’d become one of them.” (Pg.37), This universal sentiment
...onship. Relationships with family and friends are almost impossible to maintain because the addict is only focused on their addiction. Drug abuse will have a major impact on the addicts’ educational and occupational pursuit, making it hard to focus on their life period. While the number of drug addictions steadily rises, the number of children who are affected by drug addiction rises also, this issue is limiting their opportunities and putting restrictions on what they are capable of doing. Children growing up among an addicted parent are likely to start experimenting with drugs, or find themselves in a relationship with a person with an addiction of some sort. Children more than likely grow emotionally unstable, and have physical and social problems (“Drug Abuse Ruins Lives”). No addiction is too far along to tackle, stand up, be strong and fight for your life back!
There are many different social aspects for drug use and it presents a challenge to the stability and influence of any family. Wormer Davis (2010) states for every alcoholic, compulsive gambler, and cocaine addict, the lives of at least four other people are consistently altered. These other individuals may be in as much pain as the addict; they may also require help in how to deal with addict or with own powerful feeling. The family is often viewed as the basic source of strength, providing nurturer and support for its individual members as well as ensuring stability and generational continuity for the community and culture.
Drugs seem to be an issue everywhere. Just like alcohol, the drug trade is not a primary issue for one race. Drugs serve a heavy impact to all those involved. Drugs are not just reserved to those that use them, but also to the manufacturers and distributors of the drugs. An excerpt from Anderson (1990) involves a former dealer describing the drug culture. He states, “The way I see it, there’s top dogs, middle dogs, and low dogs. The top dogs are the guys with the money, dudes with the cars…the middle dogs are the ones who sell drugs for the top dogs…and they sell it to the low dogs” (p. 7). However, it does not stop there. Drugs also affect the family and friends of those involved. Many residing within areas centered on drugs often times express feelings of anxiety and fear. Wacquant (2007) states that petty theft, drug use, the resale of stolen goods, vandalism, and alcoholism are the most visible form of delinquency (p. 208).
Some people use drugs to fit in or to hide their insecurities, but many do not realize that drug abuse can isolate them from their family and friends. Certain people use them because they are bored and seeking excitement, while others just want to relax or escape stress. Drug use is not a successful way to escape one’s ...
Many people today view alcohol and drugs very differently than how they were portrayed years ago. In earlier years, there were not that many drugs that were used to save lives as the several different types of drugs that are used today. Today there are drugs used for different treatments for all kinds of diseases. Drugs are a business in which makes billions of dollars, both legally and illegally. Society views drugs majority of the time as something for saving lives, helping society for the better, but many don’t realize the millions of lives it’s destroying. Substance abuse from alcohol, illegal drugs to over the counter drugs and cigarettes can go from a casual once and a while thing to becoming an addiction. Substance abuse can be a huge gateway to addiction that can escalate very quickly. A lot of the time we convince ourselves that people chose to do these drugs so frequently, that addiction is a willing option they do to them-selves. Substance abuse and addiction are more than an individual problem it is a social issue.
It is not uncommon to view drug addiction as a problem that is created and maintained by the drug addicts. Most of
Drug addiction is on the largest contributing factors for the deaths of millions of people throughout out the ages. Todays day in age drugs have become more dangerously more potent than they were a decade back. The majority of the population believe that the reason addicts become hooked on drugs because the the chemical triggers found in the drug. This has caused many society as a whole to look down on drug addicts and treat them with less respect than anyone who is not a drug addict. Johann Hari is an english author and journalist who was published articles in newspapers like the New York times, Huffington post and the Guardian, Hari has published his own book Chasing the Scream were he goes into a three year journey on the war on drugs.