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Breaking the taboo- Drug abuse


Drug abuse has always been a taboo subject in which many express with a simple denial yet no country in the world is ever immune to the ever-growing threat of drugs. When asked to think of people with addiction problems, we often needlessly characterize them. The images that come to our minds are mainly people who are unemployed, homeless, and the people who work but live day-to-day on a small income which is mostly then spent on alcohol or drugs. However you couldn’t imagine your family’s lawyer or your doctor who are held in high regard in society sniffing cocaine.Therefore it does not mean that the person who has an x amount of fortune is engaging in similar activities than that who is broke. It may seem as a surprise but addiction is prevalent more so with those who have more money to throw around.

The problem is that many of these ‘so call executives’ or professionals have a good salary which makes their regular addiction almost possible in all circumstances. Given their positions, they can make huge withdrawals from any ATM machines without blinking and simply nobody in their family would suspect or take notice, why ? because they have the power and the means to do so and to acquire inappropriately prescribed or illegal drugs easily than that of someone who is homeless or on welfare. The poor person will have to spend every penny he receives to feed his daily habit. Money therefore can buy a lot of drug, including discretion in the form of drug runners. All of this makes the addiction easy to feed and easier to hide. The more money you have the more you would be willingly to use it. However many of us would say is it not their choice, for a comparison i would say will do homosexuals have a choice. No they don’t, same applies to drug addicts. Unfortunately whatever the circumstances of how these users became on drugs is simply another matter but to stay on drugs as an addict is not a choice its a dilemma. Many drug addicts would rather change their lifestyles unfortunately they don’t seem to have a way out of it because drug addiction is a social problem not a criminal problem. Across the globe the governments war on drugs hasn’t worked. Thousands of lives have been lost or ruined and its devastated societies all across the globe. The moral argument that was once said that “Drugs are bad” doesn’t work to stop drug addiction and trade from stopping.

The stigma in society to often to look down on drug abuses. Whereas there are some who simply portray it as there right to do what they want to their bodies, classifying that it is legal to do drugs in whatever form or shape. They believe that a hard-working tax paying adult shouldnt be treated like criminals for smoking weed or indulging in other drugs more so addicts should be treated like sick people not criminals. It is easy to criminalize them and lock them up behind bars hoping this would be the easy solution and this method doesn’t work. The governments resources should be put towards education and treatment facilities not investing in incarceration and for profit prisons. We need to break the taboo in the way that we and governments around the world view current drug laws and work towards fundamental, long-term and realistic global drug control policies.

It’s an ugly fact of human nature that people group others into superiors and inferiors. A good portion of our interactions are designed for the sole purpose of reaffirming our social status – gossip, expressing disapproval of some highly publicised crime, etc. For many reasons recreational drug use has been accepted as morally wrong in our culture, and many cultures throughout the world. Although drug use and addiction pervade all categories of race, gender, class, and age, sensationalized media coverage of drug use has resulted in a popular but inhuman caricature of the typical drug user or addict. Pervasive media portrayals have demonized people who use drugs have spawned policies that systematically discriminate against drug users. The taboo associated with drug use is so widespread that even many people who support drug policy reform or even write about it hold negative assumptions about people whose drug use they consider abusive. As an example if we look at the Asian society mainly across Europe, UK and the US, the cultural barriers have contributed to the lack of knowledge regarding substance abuse prevalence rates. Issues related to taboo, denial, and loss of face further mask understanding of the extent of the problem. Institutional barriers and the lack of community infrastructure make treatment efforts difficult in serving a myriad of Asian groups. Whereas half way across the globe the simple penalty in countries like Thailand; they have the right to sentence you to death or life in prison if caught with illegal drugs. We live a world where people approve of and disapprove of which drug is legal and which is not complicated the problem even more because people do not fully understand the laws of different types of drugs, for example you have a lot of people in their thirties growing weed inside their homes since the legalisation in the US and more so newer generations seem to be more eager to accept this drug and move on from the stereotype.

Addiction is a part of human nature, It is most common with the perception in how we look towards others whether they are over or under weight, whether it’s about sex, shopping for clothes or lying to hide flaws. Whereas being on the computer, exercising, reading novels are accepted. Anything can become an addiction if we use it too excessively, if which mostly happens when we hiding from life, escaping from the stress, and but when used in moderation it is considered healthy or is it not? It is easy to point out fingers than to know what if we were in their shoes because choices can be really limited to some. The key to understanding an addict is to accept that they will never love you more than their drug. There are some who despise the very fact of even looking at a drug abuser. In their mind these addicts simply ignorant, intolerant people on low intellect putting venom into their bodies and ruining society and the next generations to come. Judging is very easy without actually solving the problem but this doesn’t change the stereotype that society has established through the years.

The successful treatment of addiction is far more than a legal issue. First and foremost however difficult this is the dangers of drugs need to be part of an ongoing national conversation. One way to do this would be to step up outreach programmes in schools and awareness campaigns at large, with the aim of breaking the taboos and damaging stereotypes that inevitably envelop substance abuse. Another would be to fund further addiction centres, both as residential facilities and as drop-in units. Too often addicts are written off as frail, weak and untrustworthy individuals who are a curse on society, rather than looking at the deeper issues within the complex fabric of addiction.

(Global Drug Use Estimates, 2014) “Globally, it is estimated that in 2014, some 243 million people (range: 162 million-324 million) corresponding to some 5.2 per cent (range: 3.5-7.0 per cent) of the world population aged 15-64 had used an illicit drug — mainly a substance belonging to the cannabis, opioid, cocaine or amphetamine-type stimulant (ATS) group — at least once in the previous year. Although the extent of illicit drug use among men and women varies from country to country and in terms of the substances used, generally, men are two to three times more likely than women to have used an illicit substance.1 While there are varying regional trends in the extent of illicit drug use, overall global prevalence of drug use is considered to be stable. Similarly, the extent of problem drug use, by regular drug users and those with drug use disorders or dependence, also remains stable, at about 27 million people (range: 16 million-39 million).”

Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Drug Report 2014 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.14.XI.7), p. 1.

Published by Maria’m AS (e.d. Truthrevoloution)

References used:


About Mary S (39 Articles)
Author, editor, publisher and researcher.

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