Effects of Cocaine on Society
The effects of cocaine on society can be traced far back in time. The damaging effects of cocaine and its destructive influences in Western society were first observed over 100 years ago. They led to the national and international establishment of strict legal controls to limit the use of cocaine to medical applications only. For fifty years, from 1910 to 1960, such regulations along with social disapproval were sufficient to curtail cocaine use to a very small group of high class society. Now, cocaine is used by all levels of society. It can be found in the executive suite, the suburban living room for cocktail hour, the college dorm, and the high school locker room.
Cocaine and crack cocaine are toxic, addictive, psychoactive drugs that have significant physiological and psychological consequences for users. Perhaps even more unfortunate, however, are the negative effects of cocaine on society. The effects of cocaine on society can be seen in the user’s families, communities, and workplaces. Domestic violence and random acts of violence are often fueled by cocaine or crack cocaine use. Children are often the victims of cocaine or crack cocaine using parents. Children born to cocaine users suffer from the harmful pre natal exposure to the drug and are often times subjected to parental abuse by their addicted parents.
The effects of cocaine on society show themselves in a variety of ways. In the workplace, cocaine is costly in terms of lost work time and inefficiency. Cocaine users are more likely than nonusers to have occupational accidents which endangering themselves and those around them. The effects of cocaine on society can be seen in drug-related crime statistics. Cocaine use can disrupt neighborhoods with violence among drug dealers, threats to residents, and the crimes of the addicts themselves. In some neighborhoods, younger children are recruited as lookouts for the police and helpers because of the lighter sentences given to juvenile offenders. Guns have become commonplace among children and adolescents in cocaine ridden cities. A great majority of homeless people have either a drug problem, alcohol problem, or a mental illness. Many of them have all three.
The federal government budgeted $17.9 billion on drug control in 1999 for interdiction, prosecution, international law enforcement, prisons, treatment, prevention, and related items. The effects of cocaine on society also take a toll on the United States health care system. In 1998, drug-related health care costs in the United States came to more than $9.9 billion.
Common effects of cocaine on society and the user's family:
- Spousal and child abuse
- Loss of the family's financial stability
- Promiscuity and resultant unplanned children
- A high potential for causing harm to others through violent interactions or accidents
- Accidents on the workplace
- Crime in the community
- More auto accidents
The effects of cocaine on society can be lessened though drug addiction treatment. Treatment for cocaine addiction can have a profound effect not only on drug abusers, but on society as a whole. Drug addiction treatment can significantly improve social and psychological functioning, decreasing related crime and violence, and reduce the spread of AIDS. It can also dramatically reduce the costs to society that drug users create.