Treatment of Substance Use Disorders in America

opinionated Essay
862 words
862 words

The world of addiction is a highly misunderstood realm. The word “addiction” itself is extremely stigmatizing. Many people first think of personal failure and weakness, which is a result of the moral model commonly associated with addictions. However, substance dependence is not a personal weakness. It is a chronic disease suffered by many people across the world. Classifying drug and alcohol addiction as a disease is an exceedingly controversial topic (Murphy, Lynch, Oslin, McKay, & TenHave, 2007). If society is to believe and agree with this classification, they must admit that substance dependence is an illness, a disease, and not a human failing or weakness. Those with substance use disorders in particular need more understanding from the public and more advocates to speak on their behalf without judgment. According to the World Health Organization website (2004), 1.83% of men in the United States suffer from drug use disorders – another 5.48% from alcohol use disorders. Although these percentages may appear insignificant, combined they account for 7.31% of the US population which is roughly 23 million people. Substance use disorders are long-lasting and often go untreated claiming many lives. Consequently, drug and alcohol addiction does not solely affect the using individual but also affects the user’s family, friends, and community. These individuals suffer simultaneously with the addicted person – but not in the same ways (Jarecki, 2012). Costs to society include largely legal and medical expenses, with regard to drug and alcohol crimes being handled within the legal system, and hospitals handling the harmful bodily effects of drugs and alcohol on their users (Jarecki, n.d.). Costs to the family and friends range from ha... ... middle of paper ... ... and mental health services. (n.d.). Retrieved from Jarecki, E. (Producer & Director). (2012). The house I live in [Motion picture]. United States: Abramorama Entertainment. Jarecki, E. (n.d.). Drug war today. Retrieved from Murphy, S. A., Lynch, K. G., Oslin, D., McKay, J. R., & TenHave, T. (2007). Developing adaptive treatment strategies in substance abuse research. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 88, S24-S30. World Health Organization. (2004). Prevalence of alcohol use disorders. World Health Organization. (2004). Prevalence of drug use disorders.

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that substance dependence is not a personal weakness, and that society must accept that it is an illness and not human failing or weakness.
  • Explains that 1.83% of men in the united states suffer from drug use disorders and 5.48% from alcohol abuse disorders. drug and alcohol addiction affects the user's family, friends, and community.
  • Explains that president obama's affordable care act is beginning to deliver one of the most significant extensions to coverage for mental health and substance use disorders.
  • Argues that making treatment and services for substance use disorders more affordable and available is an important first step in dealing with this major social problem. educational programs must be developed and implemented in order to create understanding and provide a means of social support for those suffering from such disorders.
  • Opines that social workers must be passionate about helping those with substance use disorders, possess extraordinary amounts of patience, and be willing to advocate for their clients.
  • Opines that drug and alcohol addiction is an unfortunate reality in our society that is often rebuked and disregarded as an important social issue.
  • Cites jarecki, e. (producer & director). the house i live in (motion picture).
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