Examining Drug and Substance Abuse as a Social Problem: Essay Sample

Published: 2023-05-01
Examining Drug and Substance Abuse as a Social Problem: Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Course work
Categories:  Substance abuse Drug abuse
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 618 words
6 min read


Drug and substance abuse is a social problem that affects many people internationally. The problem has affected many people in the US. For example, in 2017, 19.7 adult Americans were battling different disorders associated with drug abuse (Thomas, 2020). However, 74% of drug abuse victims suffered from alcohol-related disorders, while 38% battled the use of illicit drugs. Drug and substance abuse costs the American government about $740 billion every year and this is associated with low productivity and cost of medication, as well as crime-related costs (Thomas, 2020). One of the policies related to the social problem is prevention. The government has the responsibility of putting in place measures to reduce the consumption of illicit drugs and control the use of alcohol (SAMHSA, 2020). For example, the government has set minimal drinking age to ensure only adults consume alcohol. Other measures regarding the prevention policy include banning illicit drugs and empowering authorities to take legal actions against victims of drug trafficking.

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Process of Developing the Policy

The process of developing social policy began with the identification of statistics about the identified problem, focusing on vulnerable groups. The process is critical since it helps to identify potential causes of drug and substance abuse before embarking on drafting a policy that would help contain the problem. Based on statistics, the bill is introduced in Congress with sufficient evidence to propose or oppose the bill and this is the reason why market research is critical since the legislators make decisions based on the evidence presented (Academic Guides, 2020). The Congress debates and votes the bill. After passing it, regulatory agencies begin developing rules and rules that guide its implementation. If anyone challenges the bill, the Supreme Court has the jurisdiction to determine its fate and legality. In this regard, the prevention policy passed through these stages and various agencies apply it to prevent drug use and abuse. Successful implementation of the social policy depends on the ability of regulators to formulate and execute the rules effectively.

Suggestions to Improve Current Policies around Child Poverty

Child poverty has been a consistent problem in the US, although some policies try to improve their living standards. Based on the existing weaknesses, the first recommendation to manage child poverty is increasing the minimum wage to about $15 per hour. The objective is to increase the household income of breadwinners so that they earn more so that they provide for their families (Minton, Giannarelli, Werner, & Tran, 2019). The second recommendation is that the government should introduce transitional jobs on families that have children and cannot provide them with basic needs and wants. For example, there should be public-funded transitional jobs for families that cannot meet all their needs and children less than 18 years but have valid social security numbers so that they can work. The policy seeks to create more avenues for poor families and children to work and earn more so that they live better lives (Minton et al., 2019). However, it is worth noting that the jobs will not be available for individuals receiving Social security income but people with physical challenges, like the disabled. Also, parents living with their children are not entitled to receiving transitional jobs simulation. These policies and others would help reduce child poverty in the US. Importantly, authorities must acknowledge that there is a problem regarding poverty levels among children in some families so that they develop a collaborative approach to managing the problem.


Academic Guides. (2020). Social welfare policy: Introduction: The policy process. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/library/socialwelfarepolicy

Minton, S., Giannarelli, L., Werner, K., Tran, V. (2019). Reducing child poverty in the US. Urban Institute.

SAMHSA. (2020). Laws and regulations. https://www.samhsa.gov/about-us/who-we-are/laws-regulations

Thomas, S. (2020). Alcohol and drug abuse statistics. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-statistics

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