Updating Drug Abuse Education for the Modern Era
Drugs have been abused for hundreds of years in different cultures across the world. The resulting effects have been felt over the same extended period. Since humans discovered drugs, there have always been instances of abuse leading up to addiction and the life-changing side effects that follow.
As the physical and mental health implications of drug abuse became clearer, drug addiction recovery and rehabilitation efforts gained momentum. As new drugs continue to emerge, there is a need to re-imagine the efforts being made towards sensitization and awareness.
Glamorization of drug use in pop culture
Pop culture has had a negative impact on efforts made towards reducing drug abuse in society. Young people, ever too eager to mimic new trends, get involved in drug abuse.
Popular culture glamorizes drug use making it look accepted and normal. There are a lot of music videos showcasing artists indulging in all manner of drugs ranging from alcohol to cocaine and opiates. Young people are bombarded with the fun aspects of drug abuse, but have no visibility into the consequences.
Problems faced in drug abuse education in the modern era.
In the battle against drug abuse, education is the first and most foremost weapon. However, there are hindering factors that diminish the effectiveness of drug abuse education. Let’s take a look at some of these factors.
Mis-informed public perceptions
Instead of being educated about the effects of drug abuse, our society today is simply told that drug abuse is bad. In modern society, people are not treated for drug abuse-- instead the normal response is to incarcerate these individuals. Individuals who are imprisoned for drug possession charges are further stigmatized by society.
The availability of drugs on the streets is not helping the situation; opiates like heroin and opium are flooding the illegal drug market. Drug addicts end up falling back on their drug use habits leading to a vicious cycle of incarceration and repeated use. Society needs to break this cycle if we are to stand a chance against drug abuse.
Mis-appropriation of public funds
More government funds are being directed towards the construction of prison facilities instead of rehabilitation centers and drug education initiatives. The source of this problem lies in the legislation concerning drugs and drug abuse. It is necessary that respective governments take the time to revise their various laws if we are to move forward in the fight against drug abuse.
Funds can be otherwise directed to youth platforms like social media to reach out and educate the youth.
Outdated ideas and thinking
Passed down from previous generations is the idea that drug users are the criminal elements of society. This notion of thinking makes the topic of drug use and drug abuse a taboo. In reality, some people who use drugs are looking for an escape to situations they are dealing with in their lives, like unemployment, poverty, and lack of opportunities.
These are just some of the main problems that plague drug abuse education in the modern era. If we truly want to win the war against drug abuse then it is imperative that we tackle these challenges, otherwise drug abuse education will become redundant in a society that ignores the true nature of the problem.