When One Hears of Substance Abuse??? ?

Question by ChemStudent: When one hears of substance abuse??? ?
When one hears of substance abuse one immediately thinks of illicit or illegal drugs. However, mind altering substances are legally prevalent in our society with their use having a multitude of consequences. Use this forum to thoughtfully discuss the problems associated with them.

I’m taking a substance abuse class and the teacher gave us this question to collaborate about! Let me know what you think.

Best answer:

Answer by Czar Walters, Child Saver!
Well, I think the questions may be a little biased, but that’s not surprising when it comes to our school systems.

I would point out that with all substances, even the “hard” drugs like heroin, cocaine, and alcohol, there is always a difference between use and abuse. For example, cocaine is used in surgery and for other medical reasons. Methamphetamine, the currently demonized substance, is also used in a a medical setting to treat ADD/ADHD. Most people think these two drugs are only available on the street, but that’s not so.

Compare that to cannabis, which is more tightly controlled (regulated in Schedule I of the CSA, where coke and meth are in Schedule II) is the most widely used and sometimes abused illegal drug, but has killed no one in the thousands of years it has been used by humans.

Alcohol and tobacco, the socially acceptable (yet highly toxic and dangerous) drugs, kill more people per year in the US than ALL the illegal drugs combined. , especially opioid painkillers, are a leading cause of addiction in the US. DEA studies have shown that many heroin addicts would prefer to use pharmaceuticals like OxyContin, Dilaudid, and Demerol because they are more potent and certainly more pure.

So, what are the consequences of these drugs? Addiction and misery, when used improperly. When used responsibly, pain-control for the suffering. However, our legal system does not recognize the difference between use and abuse. If you get caught smoking a joint and it’s your first time doing so, you will likely be sent to a one or two-year treatment program (or jail,) even though one-time use does not indicate an addiction problem. Things like these overwhelm our courts and prisons, and cost taxpayers a lot of money that could be spent better elsewhere.

I would mention the “War on Drugs,” and all the problems it actually creates, rather than solves. For example, America has only 5% of the world’s people, but it imprisons 20% of the world’s people. In other words, the US imprisons mroe people than ANY other country on earth, even Russia or China. Add to that, all the killings that have taken place on the US/Mexico border this year. More people have died there (last year, 2008) due to the Drug War than all of our military casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan over the entire time we’ve been in that war.

This chart should help you describe the “harm” of each drug, but it is a little off, IMHO, due to geovernment pressure to demonize drugs: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9c/Rational_scale_to_assess_the_harm_of_drugs_(mean_physical_harm_and_mean_dependence).svg/350px-Rational_scale_to_assess_the_harm_of_drugs_(mean_physical_harm_and_mean_dependence).svg.png&imgrefurl=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_(drug)&usg=__0oqxI4nCrYl0sLsf6d-az_c5QL4=&h=350&w=350&sz=37&hl=en&start=2&um=1&tbnid=-ZFaTCenp3ciDM:&tbnh=120&tbnw=120&prev=/images%3Fq%3Ddrug%2Bharm%2Bchart%2Blancet%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN

These websites may help you find more things to discuss:




What do you think? Answer below!



Career Planning : How to Become a Substance Abuse Counselor – A substance abuse counselor has a very emotional and stressful job, and should study sociology and psychology at a university, and volunteer at substance abu…


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6 Responses to When One Hears of Substance Abuse??? ?

  • ReggieR says:

    First of all one the issues are alcohol dependency followed very close by prescription abuse. I was a substance abuse counselor and my main clientele was women. They were Hugh users of prescription abusers, especially things like xanex valium and pain pills. The new one is everyone has suddenly been diagnosed with ADD and on Ritalin.
    Also a another big issue with women is alcohol. When they can’t use alcohol, they use mothwash or NightQuill. Very inventive. If you’d like to email me with more specific questions I would be glad to write back. Read my profile and see if I can Help God Bless Reggie

  • David Rona says:

    I think I just fell in love 🙂 – seriously though – thank you Stacy –
    you’re an amazing soul and can only imagine how many people who’ve helped
    in their disease. Best, ~Rona

  • Tylerandhisbass says:

    @9YakPk Seriously? Where are you going to school?

  • Martin Palmer says:

    I’ve recently tried to stop drinking but can’t my life is a mess every time
    I drink i take coke m-kat crack I have a job but lost my partner and my son
    because of my own balshitt I need help my life is nothing unless i stop

  • kentucy9999 says:

    This is going to sound really “snotty” but If I had to do it over again the
    only way I’d work as a Substance A C would be at a place like Hazelton or
    at a treatment Ctr serving middle to upper class families. Why? Working at
    your local hospital detox or “Tx Program” is useless. The recidivism rate
    is very, very high and the rate of people genuinely being “ready” is very
    low. Sad, but true. At least at a place like Hazelton you got a chance. I
    loved it, but it was so disappointing.

  • SunFlowa706 says:

    Horribly emotionally stressful career choice. If you’ve ever been beat up
    physically— think of what that feels like emotionally. You must have
    super tough skin to work in this field.

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