Willowbrook:Struggle to be normal Paper

Willowbrook:Struggle to be normal Paper - Society and...

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Society and Substance Abuse Sonya Mirchandani 3/15/17 Substance abuse is one of the most prevalent issues in modern day society. This has an impact on not only the abusers of illicit drugs and alcohol, however also their children, and society as a whole. It is important to determine which aspects of society, such as media, are contributing to the rise of drug and alcohol abuse. A controversial topic has been whether it is the responsibility of society to provide treatment and drug education to the parents and children influenced by substance abuse, or not. There are multiple positive and negative consequences, and according to historical occurrences in special education, the ethical action for society to take would be providing those affected by substance abuse with treatment and education. There are multiple conditions in society which give rise to the high prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse. One condition is the portrayal of drugs and alcohol in the media. Advertisements convey the use of drugs and alcohol as a normative activity which allows one to function as a “superpeer”. Furthermore, mixed messages are being sent regarding substance abuse. While children and adolescents are being taught the “just say no” idea, television programs and movies depict the use of drugs and alcohol in a generally positive light, and unlike traditional advertising, are not heavily criticized. The media contributes significantly to the risk that younger generations will engage in substance use. Another societal factor which can lead to substance abuse are high-stress work environments. Although “on the job stress” seems trivial and common, mental health research shows a strong correlation between anxiety and substance abuse. Lastly, characteristics that occur statistically more often for those who develop alcohol and other drug problems include: living in an economically depressed area, being in a high-stress
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