This research paper deals with issue of drug abuse. It highlights the fact, how American culture encourages and supports drug abuse. Assignment also tries to discuss cultural appropriateness of using narcotics for medicinal purposes. Research paper further describes how substance abuse creates significant health problems in the United States.

During 1960’s the drug culture became an integral part of American civil society. Now a day’s drug use is a common thing in American society. According to survey conducted by University of Colorado, there is hardly any difference between churched and unchurched people, that’s uncomfortable trend because it indicates that religious people are also falling for the trap of substance abuse and even churches are not able to stop them from doing it.

Research shows, kids start using alcohol and drugs at very young age, it has been seen that most of the kids start substance abuse at the age of 13 and that’s an alarming sign for the society. Parents must be aware of activities of their kids. Parents due to their busy and hectic work schedules tend to pay less attention towards their kids and that’s the root of the problem.

Survey conducted by National Institute on Drug Abuse indicates that by the end of their senior year of high school, 93% of the teenagers have experience of alcohol, few of them drink daily. Almost 60% students use illegal drugs before finishing high school; this is not a good trend. 6% seniors smoke marijuana on daily basis and 20% do it in regular intervals.  It shows how wide and deep substance abuse has spread in American Society.

Though awareness is increasing among the youth regarding this issue, it is not good enough.

Cultural appropriateness of using narcotics for medicinal purposes

Psychoactive drugs are used all over the world. Psychoactive drugs can be defined as a substance that can change thoughts and feelings of any human being, whether it is natural or synthetic.

On one hand we see psychoactive drugs are banned or severely restricted by the government authorities but on the other it has been seen that some illegal drugs are considerably used for medical purposes. This has been the topic of debate for long time. It has been seen that natural plant drugs like coca, mescaline, opium, cannabis, and psilocybin getting used in medicines from more than 1000 years. Efforts are being made to restrict use of these plants, as drugs made from these plants can turnout addictive. Having said this, this situation is quite tricky; if use of these plants is restricted some genuine medical potential of these plants may never get explored. It is extremely important to establish correct balance between both these things; unfortunately this is not worked out properly.

Cultural differences are not helping to solve this issue either. Different drugs are identified with different social categories in different cultures. This difference has is wide range, it includes different layers such as recreation, disease, vice, crime, madness, magic, religion, and most importantly medicine. It is pretty difficult to keep these categories separated and this makes issue of psychoactive drugs even more complicated.

Health problems due to substance abuse

Substance abuse is the biggest health problem in United States. Substance abuse is responsible for causing more deaths than any other health problem. Each year more than 500,000 people dye due to tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs. More than $414 billion are wasted in this business. In fact most of the underworld and terrorist organizations raise their funds from this business and this is quite dangerous. Substance abuse exists all across the sections of society; it has been done by men and women in all age groups, religions and cultures. Negative effects of substance abuse are not only limited to users, they can be felt much beyond them. Tobacco is largely responsible for oral and lung cancer. Every year, 430,700 people dye due to negative effects of tobacco. Lung cancer is not limited to smokers only; non smokers who come in their contact can also suffer from this dieses. Alcohol causes severe lever damage. It is responsible for more than 100,000 deaths every year. Illegal drugs cause more than 16000 deaths every year, these drugs can cause severe health problems like paralysis, brain damage, cancer along with some mental illness. Deaths from illicit drugs have doubled since 1980’s. Political will and determination is strongly required to deal with issue of substance abuse.


It has been seen that drug use is a common thing in American society these days. Substance abuse exists all along; it has been done by men and women in all age groups, religions and cultures. Though awareness is increasing among the youth regarding this issue, it is not good enough. Substance abuse is highest threat for health in United States.

Issue of substance abuse becomes complicated due to some social and cultural barriers.

This issue needs to be dealt with loads of patience and determination.   

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