Week 1 Paper

1167 words - 5 pages

Past and Current Trends

Ann Bacon

Psy/425 Chemical Dependency in the Workplace

November 28, 2011
Leeann Young
University of Phoenix

Past and Current trends

The overall picture of substance use and abuse is constantly changing. This is because of new laws and regulations, the development of new drugs, and older drugs that fell out of favor are again gaining popularity. The impact of substance abuse has become a major health problem in the United States as well as all over the world. Substance use and abuse has affected either indirectly or directly our communities and our families. This paper examines the past and current trends of substance use and abuse in the United ...view middle of the document...

Heroin, cocaine, and marijuana were incorporated into American life in the 40s. In the sixties and seventies marijuana and hallucinogenic drugs spread across the country. There was also an increase in the problems that were associated with heroin. In the eighties there was a decline in the use of heroin. However, during the time that heroin was declining the use of cocaine was rising (Levinthal, 2010).

Current Trends
Two years ago, alcohol use and binge drinking have shown a gradual decline (NIDA Info Facts: Nationwide Trends, 2011). About 12.5 percent of individuals 12 or older reported driving under the influence of alcohol compared to the 14.5 percent in 2002. Today, teen smoking rates are at their lowest point since 1996. There is also a decline in cigarette use in young adults as well. However, the use of marijuana is at the highest point since the 1980s. The use of amphetamines and methamphetamines are also declining. Cocaine and crack abuse are also decline. However, the use of ecstasy is increasing among individuals. The use of hallucinogenic drug use remains that same as well as the use of inhalants. However, prescription and over-the-the counter medication are the most widely abuse among individuals. These include Oxycontin, Vicodin, Adderall, over-the-counter cough and cold medications (NIDA Info Facts: Nationwide Trends, 2011).

Illicit Drugs may be considered Culturally Appropriate
The use of drugs and alcohol has been intertwined throughout history. Alcohol and other drugs play an important role in the rituals of numerous groups (Wallace, 2001).
Health and social Problems
There are many health problems associated with drug and alcohol abuse. Alcohol goes directly into the bloodstream, so it physically affects the whole body. Some of the health problems associated with alcohol use or misuse includes hangovers, weight gain, high blood pressure, depressed immune system, cancer, liver disease, alcohol poisoning, heart and respiratory failure. Alcohol use or abuse can also cause loss of appetite, stomach ailments, sexual impotence, central nervous system damage and memory loss. Drug use or abuse can have harmful side effects that have long term effect on the health of the individual. Drug use or abuse can cause life-threatening health problems. These life-threatening health problems include heart attacks, respiratory failure and comas (University of North Carolina, 2011). Drug use or abuse can also cause strokes, cancer, hepatitis B and C, and mental disorders. Some drugs can damage or destroy nerve cells (Volkow, 2010).
There are many social problems that...

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