Addiction has seemingly become more prevalent in todays society. The most prominent addictions being drug addiction with its long and extensive history of shaping society and social media which is a relatively new phenomenon. There is plenty of different ways addiction can affect society. It affects everyone psychologically having a massive impact culturally, potentially changing the decision making of the populous dramatically. Addiction can also impact society in many ways economically. Either this be through the incentivisation of taxation to fund the healthcare system to combat the consequences of these issues or through the way addiction can impact consumers purchasing habits.
Drug addiction can severely impact a society’s economy. Either it be through the public health and safety issues arising from such abuse, or the disproportionate effect drug abuse has on our class system. Drug abuse inflicts catastrophic harm on the public’s health and safety all around the globe, threatening the peaceful development and disrupting potentially smooth functioning societies. Despite knowing the dire impacts that drug addiction has on society it is extremely hard to gather calculate the entire global monetary burden that is placed by this issue. Although finding out the overall monetary burden to the exact dollar is an almost impossible feat, being able to analyse the consequences of certain policy choices and discovering strong correlating social links is certainly in the realms of possibility. Crime is a major component to how drugs impact the economy. Our current understanding is that there are three major links between drug addiction and crime. The first being the simplest, psychopharmacological crime. This being crime that is committed under the influence of a substance (INCB – International Narcotics Control Board, 2013). Crime committed under the influence of drugs is a major problem worldwide. For example, in a study in Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, as many as 55% of convicted offenders reported that they were under the influence of drugs at the time of the offence, with only 19% of the same set of offenders saying that they would still have committed the crime even if they had not been under the influence of drugs. This shows that self admittedly a substantial 36% of criminals believe they would not have committed the crime if drug abuse was not a contributing factor. This isn’t an isolated instance either, the same study conducted research into driving factor for these crimes being drugs all around the world. They founded that there was a strong correlated link all over the globe. Specifically, in the United States they found that 17% of state prisoners and 18% of federal inmates said they had committed their crimes in order to acquire money to purchase the drugs they were addicted too (INCB – International Narcotics Control Board, 2013).
Addiction not only effects society in a tremendous way economically, it also affects us socially. It does this by disproportionately effecting people of a certain class, specifically poor people. This effects society in many ways, it contributes to an overall negative psychological issue that seems to run primarily through poor and unemployed people regarding self-worth and it also hinders their chances of breaking out of the class strata they occupy. This can have serious effects on society as class mobility is extremely important as a deterrent for crime and injustice. As stated by ST Joseph Institute for Addiction, addiction has strong correlations between poverty and mental health. These correlations include increases in stress which can be a determining factor as to whether someone becomes a regular user of a substance. People within poverty tend to have a higher chance of feeling hopelessness. This happens when meeting daily expenses is difficult, making dreams of attending college, buying a home, opening a business, or traveling the world seem impossible. Feeling as though you are powerless over your own future creates a vulnerability to substance abuse.