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OfflineAnnoA
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Substance abuse at root of most of our social ills
    #2430618 - 03/14/04 08:02 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/viewpoints/articles/0314drugs0314.html

Substance abuse at root of most of our social ills
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Mar. 14, 2004 12:00 AM

An Open Letter to the State of Arizona

The chronic abuse of drugs and alcohol is implicated in virtually every domestic problem Arizonans face.

These include crime, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, teen pregnancy, chronic welfare, learning disabilities, poor schools, disrupted classrooms and life-threatening illness ranging from cancer and heart disease to AIDS and cirrhosis. It's the rare person among us who doesn't know someone who hasn't abused alcohol or drugs.

How big is the problem?

It's huge, and includes binge drinking; the use of marijuana, cocaine and crack; the abuse of opiates like heroin and stimulants like methamphetamines; the misuse of prescription narcotic painkillers like hydrocodone and Demerol; experimentation with hallucinogens like PCP and LSD; dependence on sedatives like Valium and Xanax; and addiction to inhalants like paint, butane and glue.

With little, if any, regard to age, ethnicity, household income, employment status, educational achievement or marital status, the persistent abuse of alcohol and drugs by Arizonans is causing intractable problems in our homes, on our jobs and at our schools. It's the root cause underlying a wide range of adverse behavioral, social and economic consequences.

Arizona's consistent failure to invest in substance abuse prevention and proven substance abuse treatment programs is a major contributor to the continuation and growth of these problems.

According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University:

? Of all of the tax dollars spent by states like Arizona, nearly 14 percent is spent dealing with the harmful effects of substance abuse.

? Of every such dollar a state like Arizona spends, only 4 cents is spent to actually prevent or treat substance abuse.

? States spend 113 times more cleaning up the devastation that substance abuse visits on children than they spend to prevent or treat it in the first place.

? Taxpayers save $7 in "other" social service costs for each dollar invested in successful substance abuse treatment.

Meanwhile, the ever-increasing cost of rampant substance abuse falls squarely upon state treasuries.

Arizona funds a child welfare system encompassing everything from basic social services and family court to foster care and adoption.

More than 80 percent of the child abuse and neglect cases in that system stem from substance-abusing parents.

Arizona also funds a welfare system that serves, among many others, alcohol- and drug-abusing mothers with dependent children.

Of the 2 million prisoners sitting in American jails, 1.8 million are housed in institutions funded by states. This is significant because almost three-quarters of the funds spent on jails and prisons in Arizona are spent incarcerating people who have a history of drug or alcohol abuse; were convicted of a drug- or alcohol-related crime; were using drugs or alcohol when they committed their crime; or committed their crime in order to purchase drugs or alcohol.

States like Arizona also invest hundreds of millions of dollars in schools that cost more to operate because of drug- and alcohol-dependent parents and kids. The potential for substance abuse among children is particularly acute.

The plain facts are these:

? If children are raised in a family with a history of addiction to alcohol and/or drugs, their risk of developing similar problems themselves increases.

? Whether a family is headed by two biological parents, a single parent, or some other primary caregiver, children raised in highly conflicted homes are at increased risk for substance abuse.

? Poor parenting skills (e.g., the lack of clear behavioral expectations, the failure of parents to monitor their children, and the use of excessively severe or inconsistent punishment) also leads to child substance abuse.

? Absent any other risk factors, just spending time around young substance abusers increases a child's own risk.

Regardless of age, for those seeking treatment, getting the help they need is difficult, if not impossible.

The most common impediments are lack of insurance coverage, lack of program availability, lack of child care and limited access to mental health services, family counseling and medical care.

If Arizona wants to reduce crime and curb child abuse, teen pregnancy and domestic violence, it needs to do more to prevent and treat substance abuse. It needs to embrace proven programs that consistently produce positive results.

The responsibility for preventing and treating substance abuse as a proven means of managing the staggering cost of its social and economic consequences falls squarely on Arizona's Legislature.

We urge the Legislature to recognize and implement cost-effective substance abuse policies and prevention programs to deal with these problems.


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InvisiblePoC
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Re: Substance abuse at root of most of our social ills [Re: Anno]
    #2431899 - 03/14/04 06:34 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Boo!  That's in my papers :frown:


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Re: Substance abuse at root of most of our social ills [Re: Anno]
    #2436516 - 03/15/04 09:35 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I blame people for irresponsible behavior, not anything they consume.

I am the minority in America. We have become a nation of scapegoaters. We blame everything but the individual for the crimes they commit, and the problems they experience.


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Invisibletruekimbo2
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Re: Substance abuse at root of most of our social ills [Re: ]
    #2462038 - 03/23/04 12:16 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

i personally agree. substance abuse points to underlying distisfaction with life/reality. then once you abuse substances (anything) you replace actually fixing that disatsifaction with taking a substance.

doot.


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Offlinebeam
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Re: Substance abuse at root of most of our social ills [Re: ]
    #2463000 - 03/23/04 07:22 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Teonan said:
I blame people for irresponsible behavior, not anything they consume.

I am the minority in America. We have become a nation of scapegoaters. We blame everything but the individual for the crimes they commit, and the problems they experience.




I reckon its just lack of education, moderation is the key that most people don't know about or don't think its a serious enough of an issue and this should be knocked into kids heads not all bullshit like i've heard of a lot of kids are told. People might take drugs over and over again, think they're not getting affected but really they are slowly and don't notice it for a long time.

As far as the youth go with this issua, drug abuse, young growing minds, media and pressure from society just don't go well together.

This is how i think of it from personal experience and seeing a lot of people around me experiences.

There is always many reasons why society suffers problems, not one.


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InvisibleFreakQlibrium
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Re: Substance abuse at root of most of our social ills [Re: truekimbo2]
    #2463019 - 03/23/04 07:37 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Gr8 post man :smile:


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