Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 Round 2 – Drug Addiction is a Disease, Not a Crime


Drug Addiction is a Disease, Not a Crime

Seasons in Malibu Scholarship Franz 2

Elescka Franz

November 17, 2020

Seasons in Malibu Scholarship

Addiction Awareness

Drug Addiction is a Disease, Not a Crime

When you look around at your coworkers, neighbors, family members, teachers, friends, and so on, without a doubt at least one of them has been affected by the drug epidemic in America. According to an article written by American Addiction Centers, in 2017, 19.7 million Americans struggled with substance abuse. The reasons America may see drug abuse can range from a number of reasons. Often a person’s environment affects their decision making, the community people live in, their mental health, economic status, sexual abuse, stress, and peer pressure are all gateways to experimenting with drugs. Today, as a nation we struggle with addiction for a variety of reasons, homelessness has increased as well as unemployment since coronavirus, these factors have led to an increase in poor mental health, and this is part of the reason citizens begin to experiment and often become addicted to substance. In an article by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was found that in a survey taken in June of 2020, more Americans reported experiencing worse mental health, increased substance use, and suicidal ideation, a scary statistic to accept.

Consequences for drug-abuse in American society and for people specifically consist of effects on coworkers, employers, family members, the American healthcare system, etc. Society is also affected when a parent becomes addicted to a substance, their children then become wards of the state, and must be placed into foster care. More specifically, methamphetamine users have an even larger effect on their community, those who are involved in the production of this substance put everyone in close range in danger, including emergency personnel and police officers. Not to mention those who are incarcerated due to substance abuse, and their nights in jail have a cost on their community. In more of a personal view, those who use drugs are affected severely and tend to suffer from worsened mental health issues, weakened immune systems, trouble with decision-making, aggressiveness, paranoia, general unhappiness, and so many more effects.

This crisis can be remedied with society having both more of an open-minded and compassionate view. Drug addiction is a disease. While substance abuse is a crime, rather than punishment without rehabilitation, those who suffer and struggle with drug abuse should be put into rehab facilities. With more of an open-mind coming from society, the individual will be more willing to seek help. As individuals struggling with drug abuse seek treatment, they will also need to develop strong willpower and have a good support system cheering them on. The drug addiction epidemic in the United States is no longer something that can be ignored and the nation must be called to action.