With all the knowledge we have about the dangers of substance abuse, why is it still such a HUGE problem.
I'm not just referring to drugs, but alcohol, tobacco and food. The health costs of just those three are astronomical. Education does not seem to be the answer.
What is the root cause, and what can/should be done about it?
What are your thoughts?
Food can be put down to eating disorders. As for the other three - I suppose it is for different reasons. I never understand what my friends see in tobacco or drugs. The honest ones admit to peer pressure - the dishonest ones say they started because they like it (but since they didn't know what it was like before they started it then how would they know?). Alcohol I can relate to more, as a teenager, because a small amount can loosen you up. It is excessive amounts which damage you both physically and mentally (and socially)...
It's an escape. Life is hard, people (for the most part) lack healthy coping mechanisms and so the "easy" way out is to abuse a substance. I have experience with this in my family and it's really sad and definitely a disease. I don't think it's a conscious thought... but to some it's their last resort.
It is a disease just as any other mental disease. If left unchecked it can devastate the body and the persons personal relationships.
The lunacy of the disease is that you know you are killing yourself but in the beginning you think you can control it until hopefully not too much later it controls you.
The treatment is long and laborious for some while they become honest with themselves and discover a way to combat it.
I've abused many things, but to answer why would probably require a book! I can only say that for me youth played a role. The choices I made at the time were somewhat dependent on the friends I choose and how I wished to be seen by other, my definition of "cool". Another factor, at least at the time was a distrust of authority. After all they were dishonest about the dangers of certain drugs. Then there is the element of curiosity an eagerness to learn about something considered taboo. There are many factors that would put one on a path of abuse, but the factors that keep one on that path are different. Then too many of those things we abuse do make us feel good if only for a short period of time and that can't be discounted.
I like that you asked what "should" be done about it. First I think making these substances legal removes the taboo. Second we must be honest about the dangers and ill effects of the substances and the people that abuse them and we must educate our youth on this. Other than that people are going to do what they do regardless of the consequences, especially youth who never seem to thing about consequences and who feels like they are immortal.
I agree to this one, crucial is the role of the family also, parental supervision, and also choice of friends (peer pressure), education, family and laws of the government which is to legalize everything so that they can monitor it, in Amsterdam, prostitution is legal and also marijuana, and the people there are more careful because the government monitors everyhting making it safer but offering all
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