Substance abuse doesn't just hurt the abuser. So many more people are affected by the actions of those with chemical dependences. Most disturbing among these victims are children. A study done on the connection between substance abuse issues and child maltreatment found that 40 percent of confirmed cases of child maltreatment involved the use of alcohol or other drugs (childabuse.com). Alcohol and other substances impair judgment and can act as disinhibitors. This weakens impulse control making parents more susceptible to abusive behavior.
Substance abuse is the consumption of chemical substances and illegal or prescription drugs for nonmedical, and often recreational, purposes. This is generally done to elicit a specific effect on the body or mind and may begin as a means of self medicating, escaping reality or as recreation but often leads to dependence and uncontrollable cravings. Drug abuse has severe effects on the abuser such as the irreparable damage to physical and mental health, relationships and employment. Consequences of drug abuse may also be fatal. Over 26,000 individuals died from drug-induced causes in the United States in 2002 (DEA Demand Reduction - Street Smart Prevention, Web site). Drug abuse is a major problem in our society today. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the annual costs to society due to drug abuse is more than half a trillion dollars in the United States
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