Drug Rehab 2022 Round 1 – The Road to Rehabilitation

Name: rachel reina

The Road to Rehabilitation

As a nation, the United States has been facing an addiction crisis for many years now, and the numbers seem to continue to climb no matter what legislation is enacted. Efforts have continued to be made to attempt to alleviate the addiction crisis ranging from local, to state, and even federal levels. The high-rising statistics surrounding the addiction crisis in the US has a lot to do with the easier accessibility of drugs, as well as the culture surrounding the normality of drug usage in many parts of the country. The COVID-19 pandemic also wreaked havoc on the addiction crisis, as many people fell prey to the lack of resources available as well as mental health issues fostered by the pandemic, and turned to abuse controlled substances.

The addiction crisis has detrimental impacts on society as a whole ranging from increased per capita spending, especially in areas of rampant drug usage, as well as expenditure of mental health resources, inpatient facilities, and the overpopulation of local and federal jails. Law enforcement is having to spend ample amounts of time and money on drug convictions, rather than being able to use that time and money on other damming issues or simply for the betterment of society. The impacts of addiction don’t stop at the societal level though, as they greatly affect the individual struggling with addiction as well as their family, friends, and even their work environment. Many individuals that face an addiction crisis eventually end up losing their job, struggling with their education and finances, and straining their relationships with significant others, family, and friends. Without assistance towards getting back on the right track, these same individuals will likely end up facing a multitude of dangerous health risks, in the long run, many eventually resulting in death.

In order to address and resolve these issues on an individual scale, the consequences of drug use must be discussed from a young age, as the epidemic is impacting younger and younger age groups each year. Many middle school, high school, and college-aged kids are falling prey to peer pressure and just two in every five are dying from counterfeit or laced drugs. Some may argue that children of middle school age should not be talked to about things like drugs and their consequences as it may raise their curiosity, but on the contrary, they are already continually falling prey to the dangers of these drugs, with little to no information about the reality of their impact. Establishing some sort of program whether it be inviting speakers to schools, an online course, or a mix of both, would be a great start to begin educating our youth on drug addiction, its consequences, and how we can work together as one to diminish the addiction crisis in the US.

As a society, education is again crucial in halting the addiction crisis we are currently facing, as is stopping enabling drug users and ensuring they get the resources they need to get clean. There are plenty of programs available both through the government and locally such as rehabilitation services, AA programs, and inpatient and outpatient services, all with the end goal of helping put an end to drug abuse. Making an effort to ensure that someone with a drug addiction does not have easy access to drugs, as well as is able to get the help they need, are two essential ways to assist someone struggling with drug addiction. Making resources and treatment as affordable as possible is another way that society as a whole can make a contribution to ending this problem. Some people may truly want to change, but don’t have the money, transportation, or means to take that initial step towards change, let alone make the change stick.

Another way to attempt to resolve the drug epidemic and provide relief to the overcrowding legal system would be the decriminalization of recreational usage and possession charges. Rather than being sent to jail over personal substance abuse struggles, rehabilitation services should instead replace the traditional arrest process. This would allow drug users the chance to receive help and have the opportunity to make changes that could stick permanently, rather than being criminalized and left with little to no resources. Overall, the drug addiction epidemic has been plaguing the United States for years, and only seems to be ramping up, rather than slowing down. If a collective effort is not made on both an individual scale as well as by society as a whole, we will only continue to see the negative impacts continue to be left behind.