Substance Abuse in America Essay

1904 Words Aug 25th, 2013 8 Pages
In and around most large cities in America, the rising substance abuse epidemic has brought about a renewed interested in determining the root cause of substance abuse, the effects of substance abuse on individuals and societies, and the substance abuse treatment modalities that achieve the best outcomes. In reviewing the current research on substance abuse there seems to be no one clear cause of substance abuse disorders, although there is strong evidence that a number of life circumstances may predispose an individual to a substance abuse disorder, as well as a number of protective factors that may reduce an individual’s risk of developing a substance abuse disorder. One important risk factor that is commonly associated with substance …show more content…
The American government has derived their own definition of poverty and establishes poverty based on concrete income levels that take into account the number of individuals residing in a household. In 2011, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services the poverty rate for a family of four, residing in the continental United States is $22,350. According to the Unites States Bureau of the Census, in 2009, 14.3% of Americans were living in poverty. Sociologist contend that poverty is not only about a lack of financial resources, but a state of living in which people lack prestige and social standing. In 2001, National Public Radio (NPR), in collaboration with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, conducted a telephone survey to gather information on American views and beliefs about poverty. The study found that those that live at 200% or more of the poverty level, as well as those that live below 200% over the poverty level, attribute the major cause of poverty to drug abuse (NPR, 2001). This survey also revealed that those who live under 200% of the poverty level attribute drug abuse as the leading cause of poverty at a higher rate than those who live at 200% or more above the poverty level; “when asked what is the No. 1 cause of poverty , low-income

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