The effects of substance abuse

The effects of substance abuse upon the society (United States)


Substance abuse is the excessive use of something that if taken in large amounts becomes addictive. An excessive usage of these substances leads to one becoming addicted to the substance and therefore has adverse effects on the user and the society at large. Today, the most commonly used and abused substances are alcohol, marijuana and methamphetamine. These substances, if one is not careful or uses them with limits, can have grave effects on the user and the society.

This paper seeks to address this issue.  The paper will look at the three substances and examine them in depth. The distinction between the three substances i.e. alcohol, marijuana and methamphetamine will be brought out. This will be done by examining their usage and their effects in the society.

What then is the distinction between marijuana, alcohol and methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant. It is mainly taken by sports personalities who are recovering from an injury are their services to the rest of the team are needed urgently. Its abuse is the excess usage of the stimulant that has made the sports person or any other person using it an addict. Unlike alcohol and marijuana, methamphetamine is not recommended for medical usage at any point. Alcohol abuse on the other hand is a psychiatric diagnosis. It normally describes the use of alcoholic beverages despite negative consequences. The excess use of alcoholic beverages also leading to addiction is referred to as alcoholism, the victim being an alcoholic. Finally, marijuana is a green, brown or grey mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds and flowers of the hemp plant. There are many other slang names for marijuana used all over. The biological name, however, is cannabis sativa while the chemical one is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Social effects of the substances

One common effect of the substances is the fact that they all lead to addiction if taken excessively. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease, characterized by compulsive drug seeking and drug use which is accompanied by molecular and functional changes in the brain. This leads to low productivity levels experienced by the addict. This affects the general society in one way or another. Failure by one member of the society to reach his/her potential in performing his/her roles makes the society less productive than it should be.

Another effect of the substances is that they make the users and abusers behave in violent manners. The relatives and partners of the addicts have regularly complained of violent behaviors and assaults from their partners. Parents have also complained that their children who have engaged in the activities have become violent and some have even complained of abuse.

Some of these drugs affect the physical performance of individuals. Marijuana and alcohol have received majority of the blame for this. Research has shown that many of the couples in the US that are victims of divorce put the blame squarely on alcohol abuse. Those that are yet to go through divorce have blamed alcohol of affecting their performance in bed. The chemical composition of many of these substances does not go well with the biological makeup of the human body. Some of them actually affect the cells in the human body.


All in all, substance abuse affects the society in one way or the other. Whether or not it is affected directly, the fact remains that the problem will come back to bite the society if it is not taken care of. So long as one person in the society is affected, the whole society is affected either socially or economically.