Drug Case Study

1009 Words 5 Pages
Question 2:

In economically-depressed areas, opportunities are few and often very limited. Individuals work at minimum-wage jobs with little chance to move up or improve their economic status. A general sense of hopelessness and structural oppression often pervades the communities. Illegal, recreational drugs initially offer relatively inexpensive escape from this drudgery. Over time though, drugs take a significant toll on the already economically disadvantaged. To the addict, as the need to consume more drugs for the same feelings of euphoria and pleasure increase, a terrible economic burden is added to their already limited resources. Already poor, drug dependence may impair their ability to be employed in a socially-acceptable business.
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As they descend further into addiction, they frequently become isolated from their family and friends, choosing to associate with other addicts and those involved in the criminal dealing of drugs. The likelihood of someone in this circle of associates helping the addict seek a recovery program is almost none. To the communities rife with drug addicts and the criminal element surrounding them, social mores and conventions often breakdown with individuals fearful to participate in the simplest of pleasures: taking a walk, going out after dark; even just sitting on the porch may be too dangerous. Economic trends and structural inequality both play a significant role in the disproportionate harm caused by drug use and drug dealing in the lower socioeconomic and minority echelons. Conversely, middle and upper class drug users are less impacted and more likely to recover from addiction, also due to the positive economic situation (trends) they enjoy as well as the structural inequality which favors them. Drug usage is clearly harmful to society as a whole, but takes a significantly harsher toll on the economically disadvantaged with a multitude of factors compounding this burden including: societal perception, prejudice, economic trends, and structural …show more content…
“In the 1970s, many young white middle-class adults who had become comfortable with the experience of sampling new drugs based on their favorable experience with marijuana tried powder cocaine. Cocaine use was considered chic while it was associated with rockstars and stock brokers. When these users began to experience significant rates of dependence in the 1970s, they helped drive the dramatic expansion of private and public sector chemical dependency treatment facilities in the 1970s and 1980s” (Acker, 2010). These centers focused on recovery and returning individuals to the meaningful and socially acceptable lives addiction had stolen from them. “Equipped with health insurance and supported by Employee Assistance Programs, many of these cocaine addicts became recovering addicts” (Acker, 2010). In contrast, how much more difficult is it for an economically-disadvantaged individual to recover? First, the lack of private insurance may doom the addict to a long wait for a bed in a substandard recovery center offering minimal transitional services to help the recovering addict back into society. And what opportunities exist for the economically disadvantaged drug addict when returning to the same depressed community: Almost certainly the same subpar jobs and hopelessness that they faced before bearing the stigma of recovering drug

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