Our country as a whole, is facing a major problem. My issue I am presenting to you today is our country’s epidemic with drug abuse. As the years go by, very little is being done to eliminate the problems dealt with this. It’s a touchy topic with many different viewpoints that need to be respected, but all can agree that there needs to be a stop to it. It’s a major epidemic affecting the lives of so many to this day. In fact , in 2013, there was an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older (9.4 percent of the population) who had used an illicit drug in the past month. This number is up from 8.3 percent from 2002. (“Nationwide Trends”, 2015) Over the past years, statistics have proven the rapid incline of the high percentage of drug use amongst our American population. This rate is very alarming and as our president, this matter should be dealt with quickly and accordingly. With this high number of people using drugs mentioned before, there were a high amount of drug abusers who needed treatment for drug abuse. But with this being said, the people that actually got the treatment that they needed, was at a shocking low. “There continues to be a large “treatment gap” in this country. In 2013, an estimated 22.7 million Americans (8.6 percent) needed treatment for a problem related to drugs or alcohol, but only about 2.5 million (0.9 percent) received treatment at a specialty facility.” (“Nationwide Trends” 2015) This is a surprising statistic that even I didn’t know the reality of. It claims that a large portion of our population has a problem with drug abuse, yet we only offer treatment to the littlest percentage of a shocking 0.9%. There needs to be more funding for drug abuse treatment at specialty facilities. Also, we need to support local children and family centers. We should also demand drug education in all schools. We also need to create and allow more funding to aid drug abuse research, prevention, treatment, and recovery.
Not only does drug abuse affect the users, but the family, especially children, are affected as well. “Children of individuals who abuse drugs often are abused or neglected as a result of the individual’s preoccupation with drugs. National- level studies have shown that parents who abuse drugs often put their need to obtain and abuse drugs before the health and welfare of their children.” (“The Impact On Drugs On Society”, 2006) Children of drug abusers are not their priority, drugs are. This leading to the children’s health and welfare lacking and being insufficient, which then leads to even more potential problems. For instance, violence and verbal/physical/sexual abuse is more likely to occur. Also, there is a lack of attention that is crucial to a child’s cognitive development. This leads to this kid having more problems due to this negligence down the road. This is a simple but important statement, because it expresses the idea that drug abuse does not only affect the user, but also their loved ones and closest people to the user. These children being affected are our leaders and potential future. We have to put our all into them and insure them a good life for the sake of them, and our country.
Drug abuse is not a unknown matter. It could be affecting someone you would have never guessed were going through it. Growing up with a older brother with this disease taught me alot. That drug abusers are not bad people, they’re not the “bad guys”. My brother is the smartest person I know and has the most genuine heart, but his addiction took over. This is a problem too many people like me deal with, seeing your family suffer. It’s the worst feeling you could imagine, because you are watching them slowly die, but there’s not much of anything you can do to stop/help them. This is why you, president, need to take action. I know it is not only my family and I experiencing this problem. A high percentage of our country is troubled by drug abuse. It’s a widespread problem affecting a total of 8.6% of our population. But more importantly, these statistics are not counting the families members being affected. Its our job to step up for our fellow Americans who can’t step up for themselves. We need to help those who can’t help themselves.
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Commission., By The Joint. “Effects of Drug Abuse and Addiction.” Drug Rehab & Alcohol Treatment Centers in Illinois. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
“The Impact of Drugs on Society - National Drug Threat Assessment 2006.” The Impact of Drugs on Society - National Drug Threat Assessment 2006. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2016