There are many social problems that Americans face on a day to day basis. A social problem is a condition that people in a community view as being adverse. One of the problems that has beenidentified is substance abuse. Substance abuse is a maladaptive pattern of using certain drugs, alcohol, medications, and toxins despite their adverse consequences (American Psychiatric Association). SubstanceAbuse not only affects the abuser but it also affects the abuser’s family and friends. The DSM sets out several guidelines that are distinctive of substance abuse. For example, a substance abuserwould exhibit recurrent substance abuse tendencies, which usually result in failure to perform at work, school, or home. A substance abuser might use in hazardous situations and continue using despitelegal and interpersonal problems. An example of a substance abuser using in a hazardous situation would be, for instance, a person driving under the influence. Substance abuse is an important socialproblem because it not only affects the abuser but also affects those around the abuser.
It is the number one public health problem in Oklahoma and nationally. This is supported by the amount of moneyused to address this social problem. The economic cost is staggering, estimated at nearly $7 billion annually in Oklahoma and $414 billion nationwide. Annual costs of substance abuse in Oklahoma arenearly $2 billion for expenses related to health care, public safety, social services, costs to business, and property loss (Oklahoma Department of, 2010). Substance abuse not only affects the abuser,but also has an effect on the community. For example, in Oklahoma, drug and alcohol addiction contributes to 85 percent of all homicides, 80 percent of all prison incarcerations, 75 percent of alldivorces, 65 percent of all child abuse cases, 55 percent of all domestic assaults, 50 percent of all traffic fatalities, 35 percent of all rapes, and 33 percent of all suicides (Oklahoma Department of,...
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