Addiction is not a one-person phenomenon; it is a social problem. The ripple effect of the issue can be felt across many areas of society that reach far beyond the immediate life of the addict. While not all of society will experience the holds of addiction, the community still shoulders the burden. Here we discuss two of the most common social issues associated with addiction.
Families and Children
Addiction is frequently referred to as a family disease – and for good reason. It affects the addict, their families, their friends, as well as anyone who is close to family and friends of the addict. As behaviours of those suffering from addiction become severe, family and friends often feel responsible for keeping their loved one safe and are left to clean up the damages. This can place a heavy burden on everyone that addiction touches. As loved ones become stressed out, overwhelmed, and encompassed by fear, they will likely carry these emotions into their own personal lives, which, in turn, affects others. Despite the overall health and functionality of a family prior to the addiction, loved ones are always impacted in one way or another when addiction takes hold.
A definitive link between crime and addiction has been established and continues to strengthen as time progresses. Not only is it illegal to carry many of the drugs that an addict uses but their lowered inhibitions when under the influence can encourage them to commit other crimes.
The types of crimes committed when under the influence of drugs or alcohol depends on a range of sub-factors, but at the end of the day addicts are more likely to commit crime than non-users. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) found that In 2018, almost one-in three (30%) police detainees indicated that illicit drug use contributed to their offending, and two-thirds (65%) of prison entrants in 2018 reported using illicit drugs in the 12 months before incarceration.
Homelessness is a major issue in Australia and cities across the country have varying rates. In a four-year study conducted by AIHW between 2011-2014 significant crossovers in people using alcohol and other drug related services and those using homelessness services, were found. And the data has continued to reflect similar results in more recent reports.
In 2018–19 AIHW found that 1 in 10 Special Health Services clients aged 10 and over reported problematic alcohol and or drug use, and of those, 55% presented as homeless and 45% at risk of homelessness.
How Rehabilitation Centres Are Helping
Regardless of whether an addict has committed a crime or has an unfixed location and is at risk of homelessness, the issue of addiction still stands and needs to be dealt with. While substance abuse will always remain a social problem, rehabilitation centres, like Hills & Ranges Private are helping to better society.
With the proper care and treatment, addicts can overcome their addictions and return into the community. As a result, this helps reduce the associated impacts and issues of addiction that flood our judicial and health care systems.