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Social Problems Related to Alcohol and Drugs


Alcohol and drug use is a significant issue in the contemporary world that influences not just the individual but also their family and the wider community. Hence, various scholars have concentrated on the social consequences of alcohol and drug use in their articles or considered them, along with other harmful effects. The present paper will explain the content of three articles relating to the issue while also providing a personal reflection on the readings.

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Scholars and the public alike are well aware of the dangerous side effects of alcohol and drug use, which can impair health and lead to death. Articles by Sudhinaraset, Wigglesworth, and Takeuchi (2016), Varlinskaya and Spear (2015), and Yurasek, Aston, and Metrik (2017) were chosen for review because they explain the consequences of alcohol and drug use beyond health problems. Sudhinaraset et al. (2016) note that the harms of alcohol and drug use extend further than a single organism by impacting the addict’s family, friends, and other people in the community. For example, communities with higher alcohol and drug addiction rates typically have increased levels of crime, including violent crime (Sudhinaraset et al., 2016). People who consume alcohol with drugs on a regular basis are also more likely to engage in domestic violence, which harms their significant others, children, parents, and any other relatives living in the same house. For adolescents and children exposed to alcohol and drugs at a young age, the effects can be even worse.

For instance, they can develop mental health problems that will impair their future life in the community or drop out of school and college, leading to underachievement in later life (Varlinskaya & Spear, 2015; Yurasek et al., 2017). When alcohol and drugs are used together, people’s behavior and decision-making also suffer, which leads them to drive under the influence, thus endangering other people’s lives and health (Yurasek et al., 2017). Lastly, due to its influence on mental health, alcohol and drug use contributes to healthcare spending in the United States, necessitating more state funding and drawing financing away from other critical aspects of healthcare and research (Yurasek et al., 2017). On the whole, the consequences of alcohol and drug use for society are very significant.

The articles selected for the assignment were instrumental for me in understanding the real impact that alcohol and drug use on contemporary society. All of the authors derived their conclusions from past research findings, which contributes to the reliability of the information. From the readings, it is clear that the issue does not only concern the person who drinks alcohol or uses drugs but also those around them and even society at large through increased crime, violence, and healthcare expenditures. The information contained in the articles showed me the true extent of the issue of alcohol and drug addiction and motivated me to learn more about the treatments and community-wide solutions that could help to address it.


Overall, alcohol and drug use is a critical problem affecting the United States and many other countries in the world. The widespread use of alcohol and drugs endangers families and communities while also harming individuals’ health and contributing to the healthcare burden. Acquiring more knowledge about the problem from scholarly sources has helped me to expand my understanding of it and motivated me to learn more about potential solutions and actions that need to be taken.


Sudhinaraset, M., Wigglesworth, C., & Takeuchi, D. T. (2016). Social and cultural contexts of alcohol use: Influences in a social–ecological framework. Alcohol Research: Current Reviews, 38(1), 35-45.

Varlinskaya, E. I., & Spear, L. P. (2015). Social consequences of ethanol: Impact of age, stress, and prior history of ethanol exposure. Physiology & Behavior, 148(1), 145-150.

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Yurasek, A. M., Aston, E. R., & Metrik, J. (2017). Co-use of alcohol and cannabis: a review. Current Addiction Reports, 4(2), 184-193.

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