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Sociocultural Model

For many decades, drugs and alcohol abuse have been a major problem in
our society. The problem of substance abuse is becoming more and more
severe among adults and teens. Researches has shown that approximately
17 million of adults and 855, 000 of teens in United States had an ADU
(Alcohol Use Disorder) and 1.4 million received treatment for ADU in 2012
(Alcohol Facts and Statistics, 2012). Similarly, in average of 88,000 dies from
Alcohol and 41,000 dies from drugs related issues annually in United States

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(Alcohol Facts and Statistics, 2012). Furthermore, there are more death,
illnesses and disabilities as result of substance abuse in the world in
comparison to any other preventable health condition. People who live with
substance dependency have a higher risk of all problems including
unintentional injuries, accidents, risk of domestic violence, medical problems,
and death. (Effects of Drug Abuse and Addiction, n.d). There are multiple
reasons behind peoples involvement in substance abuse. In my opinion,
sociocultural model best describes the reason why people abuse drugs and
alcohol. According to the sociocultural model, the cultural standards and
norm of a society are directly related to addiction. It emphasizes that
behavior of individuals does not get created in vacuum, nor they are born
with it; therefore, society, environment and culture around them has great
impact on how they are going to behave and what they are going to abuse
(Seven Counties Services Inc, n.d.).
Firstly, one of the reasons for substance abuse is the environment created by
media that promotes the use of alcohol and drug among the young adults. In
various nations including, United States, alcohol intoxication is not only
tolerated, but it is also considered glamorous and humorous. We find it
entertaining to watch a drunken person in TVs sitcoms and movies. Every
day media promotes the false glamorous life associated with alcohol through
different advertisements and promotions. In United States, more than $25
billion per year is spent on advertising for tobacco, alcohol, and prescription
drugs (Alcohol Facts and Statistics, 2012). Similarly, increasing social media
also has great impact on this issue among the teens and young adults.
Research done by National Institute on Drug Abuse, (2013) found that only
ten percent of the messages mentioned any risky behaviors associated with
marijuana, in pro-marijuana Tweet that year. The 70 percent of the followers
of those tweets were 19 years of age or younger. The media normalizes the
drug use through different advertisements and programming, and make the
individual feel that abuse is both common and harmless.
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Secondly, a social norm and the culture also have potential influence on the
substance abuse. The children of parent who drink or smoke are twice likely
to abuse those substances. The main reason is that they have easy access to
the alcohol or marijuana and parents are less likely to oppose their childrens
drinking or smoking habit. (Seven Counties Services Inc, n.d.). Similarly, the
living stander of individual is usually major factor that leads to addiction. The
communities living in poverty has fewer opportunities for better life,
experience higher crime rates and boredom and frustration run high. The
daily life becomes full or stress and full of frustration, which creates and
environment that allows the uses of drug and alcohol. In the communities
where drug use is normal and common, people usually abused drugs and
alcohol because its considered normal and harmless. (Seven Counties
Services Inc, n.d.).
There are multiple ways to prevent the drug and alcohol abuse. One of the
ways to stop substance abuse is to by changing social environment and
definition of norm regarding alcohol and drugs. (Seven Counties Services
Inc, n.d.). Parents are the biggest role models who define standards, norms
and set limits. Children tends to look up to parents, therefore they should
acts as a positive role model. They must talk to children early regarding
drugs and alcohol abuse. Parents should enforce the discipline that keeps
children away from drug. Furthermore, they should never drink in front of
children, which will prevent alcohol from becoming normal and harmless in
the mind of a child (Preventing Drug Use among Children and Adolescents,
n.d.).
Similarly, executive branches of government should enforced strong policies
and laws that will prevent alcohol and drugs abuse. These laws should
address all kinds of drug abuse; including legal drugs such as tobacco or
alcohol, illegal drugs such as Heroin, cocaine and marijuana, legally obtained
substances such as prescription medicine or over the counter drugs. In the
similar manner, the growing technologies and media has big impact on
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individuals. One ways to reduce or stop substance abuse is by enforcing the


policies that will eliminate the advertisement, which promotes alcohol and
drug, from media (Hester, R.K., & Sheeby, 1990). There should be strong
laws regarding the censorship in social media and TV about the drugs and
alcohol. These laws should force the media to promote the negative effects
of the drugs and alcohol rather and brainwashing young people.
Furthermore, government should put heavy tax on tobacco and alcohol;
which leads to higher prices and less consumption.
Further, school should develop the curriculum that will bring awareness in
student regarding drugs and alcohol abuse. These programs can be designed
as early as middle school to reduce the risk of drug abuse that lead to
violence, poor academic skills and potential death. These programs should
focus on teaching about self control, emotional awareness, and drug
resistance skills and strengthening of personal commitments against drug
abuse (Preventing Drug Use among Children and Adolescents, n.d.).
The drug and alcohol abuse is one of the biggest problems in the world as
results of multiple factors. Once way to fight this problem is by working
together as community or as a whole nation. Everyone in communities
should get involved in fight against the drug, for welfare of this nation and
the world. We should ask ours self what changes we can make to stop
addiction? How these changes can be accomplished? Once we answer these
questions by our self, we should work together to achieve the common goal
of drug free nation.

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References
Alcohol Facts and Statistics. (2012.). Retrieved from
http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-

health/overview-

alcohol-consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics
Effects of Drug Abuse and Addiction. (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://recovergateway.org/substance-abuse-resources/drug-addictioneffects/
Engs, R. (1990). Controversies in the addictions field. Dubuque, IA: Kendall
Hunt Publishing.
Models of Drug Use (2004). Retrieved from
http://www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/d
rugtreat-pubs-front5-wk-toc~drugtreat-pubs-front5-wksecb~drugtreat-pubs-front5-wk-secb-3~drugtreat-pubs-front5-wksecb-3-4
Preventing Drug Use among Children and Adolescents. (n.d.). Retrieved
January 6, 2015, from
http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/preventing-drug-abuse-amongchildren-adolescents-in-brief/prevention-principles
Seven Counties Services Inc. (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://sevencounties.org/poc/view_doc.php?
type=doc&id=48353&cn=1408