Drug Abuse Disorder

Having recently engaged in a binge watching episode of a series called “intervention“ which documents how families and friends put everything on the line in the last attempt to save their addict loved ones, I felt like writing about this pandemic that has been breaking families apart and killing people since the beginning of the modern human history.

The field itself is extremely broad ,which makes a generalization of particular discoveries nearly outlandish, taking into account the diverse sorts of sedate mishandle, the distinctive substances and more components that give the conceptualization of the phenomenon a magnitude that surpasses the point of each humble undergraduate’s investigation. But there are diverse ways to look at it, perhaps less scientific, but exceptionally effective ways. The UN’s Office on Drugs and Crimes (ODC) has put together distinctive insights, visualizing the gigantic scale of the illness in address. The ODC states that 275 million individuals have used drugs amid the final year, to put this into perspective, generally 3,55% of the whole world populace have used drugs in this particular time period. (UN, 2021) This should be an eye-opener for everybody who hasn’t completely caught on the scale of the phenomenon, and even though this doesn’t show how many people suffer from drug use disorder (over 36 million as stated by the UN, 2021) it does explain how easily and frequently people come into contact with potentially harmful substances. Statistics like this obviously don’t take into account how the perception of drug abuse differs from culture to culture, while in one country people might identify (and be seen) as casual drinkers with a high tolerance for alcoholic beverages, in other countries they could presumably be classed as full-blown alcoholics. This shouldn’t justify or contradict culture-specific drinking- (or substance use) habits but should actually just serve as  a reminder of the unmeasurable proportion of the phenomenon and the fine line that differentiates casual substance use from drug use disorder. This intricate network of social pressure, culture and personal factors make the whole situation inextricable and impossible to explain as a whole. To understand the disorder one has to take each piece of the „puzzle“ and look at it one by one, which is why we tried to touch most areas linked to the disorder. 

To end this article on a personal note, I would like to add that it seems quite interesting to me, how much the general public (not a statistical information, derived from talking/ listening to friends, family and acquaintances, hence the “personal note”) seems to know about drugs in general (probably and partially because of a constant romanticization by different industries e.g. film, music etc.) while so little is known about the destructive consequences of drug abuse disorder. Especially with legal substances it almost seems comedic, how social stigmata are assigned to each and everyone who doesn’t succeed in the risky danger management of recreational drug use while handling constant peer and social pressure among other things. The shame which is often associated with drug abuse disorder still keeps a lot of people from getting or seeking the help they need and trying to keep in mind that we all walk a fine line is crucial to minimize the judgement towards people suffering from drug abuse disorder.


​​United Nations. (2021, June 24). UNODC world drug report 2021: Pandemic effects ramp up drug risks, as youth underestimate cannabis dangers [Press release]. https://www.unodc.org/unodc/press/releases/2021/June/unodc-world-drug-report-2021_-pandemic-effects-ramp-up-drug-risks--as-youth-underestimate-cannabis-dangers.html

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