Drug Abuse and Criminal Justice
Drug and alcohol abuse has been on an unfortunate upward trend in the United States over the recent years, with every social setting and activity including alcohol and recreational drugs (McKenzie, Pinger, & Kotecki, 2012). Looking at nationwide trends or statistics of the same, helps us determine the true extent of this problem. According to national statistics, the use of illicit drugs among youths rose from 8.3 percent in 2002 to 9.4 percent in 2013 (Murphey et al., 2013). Of all the illicit drugs, there has been a great increase in the use of marijuana over the years, with research revealing an increase in marijuana use from 5.8 percent in 2007 to 7.5 percent in 2013 among youth aged 12 years and older. There has also been an alarming increase in drug abuse among individuals between the ages of 50 and 65 in the United States. It is argued that today, almost 60 percent of people falling in the 50-65 age group abuse either alcohol or drugs.
To determine the nature of the abuse, one must be sure to look at statistics across gender and races is vital. Research indicates that in the US, drug abuse is higher among men as compared to women. For example, in 2013, reports showed that 10.8 million men in the US were victims of alcohol and drug abuse whereas only 5.8 million women were victims of the same. This highlighted a significant increase as compared to previous figures , given the social factors that influence both men and women to engage in alcohol and drug abuse today. When it comes to ethnic communities in the US, research indicates that Caucasians and Native Americans are at higher risk of alcohol and drug abuse disorders as compared to Asian-Americans, African-Americans, and Hispanics (McKenzie, Pinger, & Kotecki, 2012). With this data in mind, it can be noted that alcohol and drug abuse problem is more significant today than it was in the near past.
McKenzie, J. F., Pinger, R. R., & Kotecki, J. E. (2012). An introduction to community health. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Murphey, D., Barry, M., Vaughn, B., Guzman, L., & Terzian, M. (2013). Adolescent Health Highlight: Use of Illicit Drugs. Child Trends, 1-8.