Revise Assignment Read A Writer’s Reference section C1-c: “Draft and Revise a Working Thesis Statement” attached here:
revise your thesis statement.
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Facing Alcohol and Drug Abuse in America
Alcohol and drug abuse remain a severe problem that affects many people both in America and the world, and the negative consequences are felt in every corner of the globe (Schuckit). Alcohol and substance abuse can be defined as a chronic disease that involves the uncontrollable consumption of drugs and alcohol and is harmful to the user’s health and the whole community. Heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, various cancers (e.g., breast cancer), mental disorders, new born abstinence syndrome (NAS), driving under the influence (DUI), and other transportation-related traumas are all linked to alcohol and other drugs abuse. Sexual assault and rape, 10,11 unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted illnesses, 12, deliberate and unintentional injuries,13 and property crimes are among the most common crimes. Substance abuse is costly to our society, putting a strain on our workplaces, healthcare systems, and communities if left untreated. A lot of studies and reports have shown that substance misuse hurts corporate productivity and competitiveness and increases workplace injuries and absenteeism. Given the negative impact of substance misuse on public health and the increased risk of long-term medical consequences, including substance use disorders, it is critical to prevent substance misuse from the beginning and to identify those who have already begun to misuse substances so that early intervention can be provided.
Why we Should Care
Every year many Americans have lost their lives due to drug and alcohol abuse. One of the highest numbers of deaths caused by alcohol and drug abuse was recorded in 2014 when more than 43000 American citizens died from a drug overdose. Yearly, alcohol misuse kills about 88,000 people in the United States each year, including 1 in 10 total deaths among working-age adults. A study has revealed that substance and alcohol abuse-related behavioural health problems, such as aggression, unsafe driving, mental health issues, and risky sexual activity, are the leading causes of death among individuals aged 15 to 24 (Yvonne Bonomo).
The federal government and the business community are increasingly becoming aware of the harmful effects of substance misuse on the American economy and its workforce. In 2010, the annual economic impact of alcohol misuse and disorders was assessed to be $249 billion ($2.05 per drink), while the impact of illegal drug use and conditions was estimated to be $193 billion, including both direct and indirect expenditures related to crime, health, and lost productivity.
Every year, taxpayers bear the cost of $45 billion for state jails and $144 million for federal prisons. It is known that drug-related incarcerations account for more than half of federal prison inmates and over a quarter of state prison inmates. Annual costs for state prison populations in 50 states average more than $32,000 per inmate, with federal stays costing more than $26,000 per person. The average drug-related felony results in jail sentences ranging from three to nine years. Therefore, the government must expand the research on drug and alcohol abuse to facilitate the development of alcohol and drug abuse treatment tailored for specific populations (Columbia Univ.).
Some of the adverse effects of alcohol, substance, and drug abuse in society include;
· An increase in child custody losses
· An increase in child abuse and neglect
· An increase in the risk of addiction for children whose parents are addicted to drugs
· An increase in domestic strife
· Increased homelessness and poverty rates
· Significant financial burden of healthcare costs
· Co-occurring mental problems are becoming more common.
· Insurance premiums and taxes will rise.
Though law enforcement measures work to reduce and stop alcohol and other drug abuse, prevention is the one critical strategy. These should join to work together to combat substance abuse in a variety of settings effectively. Collaboration between law enforcement, health, and social service agencies can assist lower demand, which feeds drug trafficking activities, which are frequently violent and criminal—complementing law enforcement efforts to curb supply by treating addicts and avoiding the commencement of drug use. Effective preventative techniques are vital in the fight against substance misuse in the community.
At some point in their lives, almost everyone is vulnerable to alcohol and other drug issues. However, some persons are more likely to develop a significant addiction due to personal, family, or environmental factors. Substance misuse has a wide range of consequences that affect family members, friends, co-workers, and society as a whole (Publications).
Drug addiction is a complex disorder with far-reaching effects for those who know, work with, or support addicted to drugs. Though you might not be directly affected, or if you don’t presently know someone who is misusing drugs and alcohol, you are sure to be involved in some manner, whether it’s through taxation, higher insurance premiums or college tuition, or working longer hours. There are no limits to the effects of drug addiction. The government’s intervention and prevention or reducing early substance use initiation is the best chance to reduce drugs and alcohol abuse and the deaths caused.
Given the impact of alcohol and other drug abuse on the country, preventing the abuse is vital. Therefore, it follows that the community in general, together with the government, should formulate prevention strategies to attain this goal. It is imperative to focus on the young people and youth when developing preventive models as they are most at risk. Young people go through psychological, social, and developmental changes and are easily influenced at this point in their lives. Preventive measures could be applied here to impact the youth positively. Numerous preventative techniques can significantly reduce drug use, especially among individuals who are at high risk. These strategies all have the same goal: to build “protective factors,” including well-developed social skills, strong family relationships, school attachment, and active participation in community and religious organizations while minimizing “risk factors” that make people more vulnerable to drug misuse. A recent study reveals that resilience is also a key element; many people can resist drugs even in high-risk, unpleasant situations.
Although it is impossible to make a specific prediction on who is prone to alcohol and drug abuse, a study has exposed a lot about the factors that put millions of youngsters between the ages of 10 and 17 at risk. School failure, living in a place where substance abuse and dealing is prevalent, associating with peers who partake in alcohol and other drugs, and school failure are all substantial indicators of parent substance addiction, lack of parental guidance, or a turbulent abusive family. These factors are essential predictors, and the presence of multiple predictors leads to an increase in the chances of one falling victim to alcohol and substance abuse. However, eradicating these factors from a child will give the child a fighting chance and save them from the terrible fate of addiction.
Preventive Programs and Policies
Though significant efforts to reduce and eradicate alcohol and substance abuse have been undertaken all across the United States, I feel that the government should put prevention and treatments first and centre. Even though they might fight the gangs and traffickers, the government does not impact the demand for illicit alcohol and drugs is still present. But by preventing potential markets might do the trick in winning the war against drugs. Evidence-based therapies for substance abuse can help individuals stay productive members of society while saving society money on medical costs (Zili Sloboda, Prevention of Substance Use). These programs can yield anywhere from a few cents to $65 for every dollar spent on prevention.
Some of the federal government’s initiatives on reducing substance abuse include;
· The first preventive intervention is introducing educational initiatives in schools.
· School-based and community-based educational activities (primary prevention
· Supporting the usage of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) regularly
· Overdose education and naloxone distribution initiatives should be implemented to provide naloxone to opioid users and possible bystanders.
· Efforts by law enforcement to combat doctor shopping and pharmaceutical mills
· Individuals with substance use disorders should be directed to Drug Courts.
· Access to MAT should be expanded.
· Formulations for opioid analgesics that are less likely to be abused
· Expansion on the research of new approaches of treating pain.
Additionally, to prevent substance misuse and related criminality, communities must invest their often-limited resources in programs that have been demonstrated to be effective (Zili Sloboda).
Apart from the harmful effects of alcohol and substances abuse on the individual doing the abuse, substance abuse effects can be felt by other people too. Mothers can pass substances to their unborn babies or through breastmilk which is detrimental to their proper development. The spread of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS is another harmful effect of substance abuse that others can feel. Road carnage and motor vehicle accidents can also be blamed on alcohol and substance abuse.
It is therefore imperative for increased surveillance of the second-hand repercussions of alcohol and drug use, such as assaults, sexual assaults, motor vehicle accidents, homicides, and suicides, as well as the effects of substance use on academic and professional performance, is required. Surveillance must be expanded beyond the national and state levels to include local groups. Prevention measures have begun yielding results as alcohol and substance abuse cases have started to subside, as it has been proven in research carried out in multiple states (Michael J. Stoil).
Columbia Univ., New York, NY. Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. Behind Bars II: Substance Abuse and America’s Prison Population. ERIC Clearinghouse, 2010.
Michael J. Stoil, Gary Hill. Preventing Substance Abuse: Interventions that Work. Springer Science & Business Media, 2013.
Publications, United Nations. World Drug Report 2018 (Set of 5 Booklets). UN, 2018.
Schuckit, Marc A. Drug and Alcohol Abuse: A Clinical Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment. Springer Science & Business Media, 2013.
Yvonne Bonomo, C. J. M. Goos, John Howard (Ph. D.), Taisia Huckle, Nina Rehn Mendoza. Young People and Alcohol: A Resource Book. World Health Organization, Western Pacific Region, 2015.
Zili Sloboda, Hanno Petras, Elizabeth Robertson, Ralph Hingson. Prevention of Substance Use. Springer International Publishing, 2019.
—. Prevention of Substance Use. Springer, 2019.