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How Does Substance Abuse Impact The Community?

Watching your loved one struggling with addiction is heartbreaking. You want to help but nothing you say or do seems to have an impact on them. They carry on with their addiction, heedless of any consequences their actions may have on those around them.

To understand their compulsion, you need to understand that addiction is a disease that affects an individual physically, psychologically, and mentally. The more alcohol or drugs they take, the deeper they sink into addiction and the more powerless they are to get out of it. This is often the point where multiple problems arise in your loved one’s life –in their relationships, school, or work.

The consequences faced by addiction are not restricted to an individual or those closest to them. Sometimes the wider community may be affected. This may be impossible to believe but an addict’s actions do have far-reaching consequences.

The Impact of Substance Abuse in the Community

If we define a community as a group of people living together, it becomes easy to trace the impact of substance abuse including:

  • An Increase in Crime.

Once a person becomes hooked on drugs, they are often willing and desperate enough to do whatever it takes to keep feeding that habit. As it happens, this is a costly habit, and the individual may resort to stealing or other crime to afford more drugs. Other substance abuse-related crimes include driving under the influence, clashes between dealers and users, or clashes between gangs.

This means that the community (through taxpayers) must spend more on funding police officers as well as funding jail personnel. Additionally, courts may become overburdened with drug cases, impacting other areas requiring their attention.

  • Increased Health Care Costs.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, annual health care costs resulting from illicit drug use exceed $10 billion. This comes from direct health issues as a result of drug abuse e.g heart attacks, increased cases of diseases due to risky behavior, and increased pressure on emergency services.

  • Domestic Violence

Substance abuse also leads to increased cases of domestic violence. This happens because the individual is more concerned with abusing drugs than taking care of the family. As a result, the family may face financial problems and children’s needs may be neglected. The individual may turn violent due to the influence of drugs and the spouse or partner may resort to using drugs to escape or cope with reality.

Get the Help You Need

To avoid these issues, those affected by addiction need to get help before things go too far. Addiction treatment centers such as Evolve Indy in Indiana specialize in helping individuals beat addiction and turn their lives around.

We offer different treatment programs on an inpatient and outpatient basis. The latter includes intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization programs. We also have family therapy sessions where we work with affected families to rebuild the bonds broken by addiction.

Reach out to us today and let us help you make a fresh start in your life.

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