The Devastating Connection Between Addiction and Poverty

Though there may have been a time when drug and alcohol addiction only affected lower class Americans, that time is no longer the current status quo, if it ever was. Now, any and all demographics get affected by addiction in one way or another. The truth is, poverty is created in anyone who abuses drugs and alcohol by the simple nature of what that addiction ultimately does to a person. Listed below are some facts and statistics that show the different levels of poverty that are created in people because of who engage in substance abuse:

  • On the subject of drugs making a big comeback, heroin definitely has taken the stage in this matter. The biggest increases in heroin abuse and addiction have actually occurred in groups with historically much, much lower rates of heroin use and abuse than in groups that have consistently used the drug. So, not only have abuse statistics gone up as a result, but they’ve gone up amongst individuals with historically speaking almost no heroin abuse at all. Demographics that are now responsible for the majority of heroin abuse in the States include people like women, individuals of upper-middle class and middle-class economic prosperity, and individuals with private insurance and higher incomes. Many such individuals now experience economic, physical, or mental poverty because of their addictions.
  • The Centers for Disease Control says that males, non-Hispanic whites, 18- to 25-year-olds and people living in large metropolitan areas are easily at the most risk for heroin addiction, which covers most of the entire U.S. now in fact. Heroin addiction now spans all ages, races, genders, incomes, insurance statuses and locations too, whereas before the turn of the century it used to be much more localized to poor classes of Americans. Now, heroin addiction creates poverty in all classes.
  • The average user and abuser of heroin has changed drastically in the last decade alone too, and not for the better in any way.  In the year 2000, black Americans aged 45-64 had the highest death rate for drug poisoning involving heroin by far. Now, though, white people aged 18-44 have the highest rate of abuse by far. The share of people who say they have used heroin in the past year is actually decreasing for non-whites nationwide. Heroin has taken hold of the white suburbs, middle-class and upper-middle class which has prompted more attention for what is now being called a “health problem” that creates poverty left and right. It is particularly concerning too since the age most affected are young adults and teenagers who are impoverished by this.
  • Substance abuse amongst the nation’s working class is at a new high too, and these individuals are already close to poverty as it is. Now, more than forty percent of the nation’s working class and middle class have admitted to abusing drugs and alcohol at least once in the past year alone, and fifteen percent would agree that they are indeed addicted to some substance of some kind or another. This is quite concerning for them too as this is the demographic that drives the nation in many different ways and in many different forms. In truth, if something isn’t done soon for these individuals then the problem will of course only get much, much worse long before it gets any better.

This is the gritty truth about the effect that drugs in this new age, particularly heroin, have on the different classes and economics of Americans.  It can be pretty clearly seen that it is the middle-class and upper-classes that are being reduced to poverty because of these issues. Anyone who is addicted to anything deserves help for that addiction, and that’s where rehabilitation comes into play.


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