What Is the Effect of Drugs in the Community?
Your drug addiction does not only affect you it also affects your family, friends, co-workers and can even affect your community.
Suppose an individual has been abusing drugs and alcohol for a long period. In that case, that lifestyle can end up drastically damaging their lives in every way: financially, mentally, socially, and physically both their short-term and long-term health. Many addicts do not eat nutritious food or much food at all, and the vitamins and minerals from any food they eat are often not properly absorbed.
Effects of Drugs On the Individual
Alcohol and drug abuse take a major toll on the human body. Various drugs will cause harm to your body in different ways – and abusing substances for a long period will leave a mark on your physical health. For example:
- Heroin – Can lead to collapsed veins, infections, abscesses, arthritis
- Meth – Causes lung, liver, and heart problems, dental issues, insomnia
- Cocaine – Can lead to gastrointestinal problems, difficulty swallowing, nasal passage problems, insomnia
- Alcohol – Can cause stomach and heart issues, muscle cramps, damage to digestive track, weakened immune, skeletal, and muscle systems, pancreatic and liver issues
Effects of Drugs in the Community
When people engage in drug activity, they don’t realize their addiction affects more than just them. It affects friends, families, co-workers, and, many don’t realize, their community. Communities also suffer from the effects of drug addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) statistic, overall, substance abuse costs the United States more than $740 billion a year in terms of health care, work productivity, and crime; of that figure, illicit drug abuse costs $193 billion and prescription opioid abuse costs another $78.5 billion.
More About Effects of Drugs in the Community
The impact of drugs on the community is wide-ranging and staggering. For instance, a greater amount of drug abuse on the streets means drug-related crimes, which, therefore, the community has to fund more police officers, and jails have to hire more staff because of an increase in the number of inmates. In addition, from all the drug-related crimes, courts can become overwhelmed with too many drug cases, and the victims may also pay costs from their property getting damaged.
If a community repeatedly has drug-related crimes, it could gain a reputation for “bad” neighborhoods and experience a loss of property values and sales tax revenue as people move out or avoid visiting or living there.
Effects of Drugs on Other Parts of the Community:
- Increase in child custody losses
- Increase in child abuse and neglect
- Increase in addiction risks for children of drug-addicted parents
- Increase in domestic disputes
- Increased rates of homelessness and poverty
- Substantial financial health care burden
- Increased rates of co-occurring mental disorders
- Increase in insurance premiums, taxes
- Increased strain on co-workers
- Increase in the number of people incarcerated in state and federal prisons
- Increase in rates of violent crimes on college campuses
- Losses in revenue for businesses and universities
Drug addiction affects more than just the individual that is using it. It is a complex illness with far-reaching consequences for those who know, work with, and support the drug-addicted individual. Even if we don’t know someone personally who is abusing drugs, we are likely impacted in other ways, whether through taxation, paying higher insurance premiums or college tuition, or picking up hours at work. Drug addiction knows no boundaries. We all pay.
Start the Journey to Lasting Sobriety at Evoke Waltham
To end the cycle of drug addiction, one just needs to want help, and Evoke Waltham can help you on the journey to lasting sobriety. At Evoke Waltham, we believe that effective and quality clinical care should be accessible the moment you need it.
The traditional, multi-phased continuum of care is not right for everyone. Therefore, we treat men and women anytime and anywhere, either in-person, virtually, or over the phone. We are a team of experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable professionals dedicated to making a recovery accessible regardless of your circumstances.