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Abuse of drugs and other substances is a major social and public health issue that affects all societies in some manner. Drug abuse also contributes to a wide range of societal problems, including violence, addiction, homelessness, poverty, crime, and child abuse. Families are destroyed, and children suffer. Numerous criminological ideas fall into different categories and can be used to shed light on why people abuse drugs. The causes of drug abuse will be discussed in the paper, and the strategy that best explains why people abuse drugs will be chosen.
According to the sociological theory, drug abuse is caused by people's direct social surroundings. The theory argues that individuals who come from broken families or lack economic and social opportunities like education and jobs are more likely to abuse drugs. Other risk factors include poverty and poor parenting. The theory explains that people abuse drugs as a mechanism for coping with social and economic issues in their environment (University of Minnesota).
Psychological theory, on the other hand, explains that personality traits in people are the main cause of drug abuse in the society. It argues that drug users normally have personality issues like poor self-esteem and the need for stimulation that exposes them to drug abuse (University of Minnesota).
Lastly, the biological theory explains that drugs stimulate neurotransmitters in the brain called dopamine. Dopamine causes a feeling of euphoria in people that motivates them to use drugs each time, leading to drug abuse. There is also the genetic aspect which explains that children of drug abusers are more likely to abuse drugs due to inheritable nature of that trait (University of Minnesota).
The best approach that explains drug abuse is the sociological theory. Issues in peoples’ environment like poverty and lack of jobs often cause emotional stress. As such, people begin looking for strategies to cope with the stressors and that is why they resort to abusing drugs. Policies in the area of drug abuse should be geared towards reducing poverty, creating employment and giving people social opportunities like education.
Policymakers can only solve the problem of drug abuse in the society if they tackle the underlying issue explained in different criminological theories. The policies must address the issues of poverty, and psychological problems like poor self-esteem among many other social, biological and psychological issues.
University of Minnesota. (n.d). Social problems: Continuity and Change. Retrieved Oct. 31, 2017, from http://open.lib.umn.edu/socialproblems/chapter/7-4-explaining-drug-use/
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