Alcohol and Other Drugs


Alcohol and Other Drugs

Using drugs is one of the social problems that entail the use of substances which are psychoactive. This means that they have an effect on the ability to think and affects one’s mood thus functioning in general sense (responses, actions, decision making and reality testing among others). The term “drugs” is also used on legal substances such as alcohol, coffee and tobacco as well as some which are medically prescribed. Moreover, they also include illegal substances such as cocaine, marijuana and heroin among others. These substances or drugs results to the user developing tolerance overtime as they are addictive. This means that the body of the users adjusts to the effects of the drugs and in the long run larger doses are required with time to satisfy their effect.

Dependence develops as the body adjusts to the presence of most drugs with an exception of rare cases of hallucinogens. In this case, for one to function normally they need these drugs and when they try to stop they suffer from withdrawal, unpleasant psychological and physiological effects that prevent the user from stopping. When used overtime and in large doses drugs affect the system of the human body by acting as a cumulative physiological poison on the system. Eventually, the user suffers from various medical problems such as liver cirrhosis.

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The use drugs is a public and social health problems that affects the whole world that has an impact on the social as well as individual level. When drug substances are abused and one gets addicted they lead to a destructive pattern of using substances that lead to distress and other significant problems. Addictive behavior is represented by a commonly repetitive pattern which leads to increased risks of certain diseases as well as social and personal problems. The person who has abused alcohol or other drugs does not have control of the quantities he or she consumes. In most cases, usage of drugs develops overtime such that a person can start consuming alcohol, which leads to smoking, using marijuana and then other illegal drugs. These levels and patterns are as a result of various psychological and social factors. The abuse of drugs is associated with having an overpowering need or desire to continue taking the drugs and obtaining it by all means possible. In some cases, people end up committing crimes so they can get money to buy drugs which results to immense social problems.

Sociological analysis aids in the understanding of addiction of alcohol and drugs in general. It refers to individual behavior that is controlled at the societal level and that has a social effect by affecting other people. There is both a macro level social context and a micro level individual behavior. In the case of macro level behavior, parameters are set for the behavior of individuals through provision of opportunity and access for its occurrence. On the other hand, macro level individual behavior constraints micro level although on a daily basis the behavior is based on the macro level. There are various factors that lead to usage and abuse of alcohol and other drugs that in most cases the media may not disclose.

The main factor is family influence which is the first social group where individuals belong. In this case, parental monitoring is crucial to prevent abuse of drugs since the absence of parental monitoring leads to enhanced risks of children abusing drugs. Peer group influence also leads to abuse of alcohol and drugs when teenagers or the youth associate with their peers who abuse drugs. However, some characteristics of a family which are positive and personal characteristics of an individual can improve how one relates with their peers and end up not abusing drugs. The use of alcohol and other drugs is derived from expectations, customs, values and norms of a given society.

            Despite sociological analysis being essential in helping understand the issue of the usage of alcohol and other drugs, there are various limitations that are encountered on the process. In this regard, the literature presented by sociological analysis on the issue of alcohol use and other drugs only considers the negative effects basing on socio environmental and socio cultural factors on consumption of alcohol and other drugs. This is in regards to how modern society and social change lead to excessive drinking to how risky social settings and small groups contribute to drug addiction. Consequently, the sociological analysis usually overlooks the normal usage of alcohol and other drugs.

Most sociological analysis have focused on the identification of specific factors that contribute to harmful or pathological use of drugs with less analyses focusing on normal use of alcohol and drugs. There is need to explain how users of alcohol and other drugs can use them with control. Moreover, some analyses can show the positive effects of using some drugs to a certain extent. Generally, sociological analysis on the normal use of alcohol and other drugs can result to users having a better understanding on how they can take the substances.

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