Chemical Dependency has become a subject of great concern worldwide because it affects our society as a whole in terms of breaking down families, causing severe erosion in social values, reducing employability and increasing wasteful expenditures. It is an impediment for social progress. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), almost 80 percent of individuals suffering from a substance abuse are predominantly between the ages of 18 to 30.

While 50% of the time, genetics and environmental factors are thought to play equal roles in the onset of addiction the NSDUH survey continues to state that drug and alcohol intake at an early age, particularly before the brain is fully developed increases the risk of addiction later in life. We have all watched in horror as young and gifted actors and musicians destroy their careers and lose their lives to drugs and alcohol.

Alcoholism is the third most preventable disease in the world but because of how pervasive alcohol is in our society, oftentimes people forget that it is a drug too with adverse and life-threatening health effects such as cirrhosis of the liver, cancer, heart attacks and withdrawal symptoms that may bring about other physical and mental complications. Long term drug use of stimulants such as cocaine is known to impair judgement and decision-making such as driving under the influence or engaging in sexual misconducts.

Whether it is someone’s first time to use drugs (which are mostly synthetic, increasingly lethal) or they are habitual users, they cause sudden death often due to cardiac arrest or a stroke and when this drug problem goes untreated, users are at a very high risk of developing a mental disorder or other physical infirmities.

There is a lot being done it terms of raising awareness and addressing the most common root causes of drug addiction because no one uses alcohol or drug with the intent of becoming an addict, however, the number of addicts is undeniably on the rise and detox and on-going relapse prevention that includes 12-step meetings have been the path to freedom for thousands and may work for the duration of the rehabilitation period but being able to establish a long-term solution and a way of life for the youth is a more hands-on approach to this growing pandemic.

Some communities are responding and establishing organizations that award anti-drug scholarship funds to high-risk teenagers to enable them to go to school, college or acquire some form of technical training in the hope of inspiring them to be the best they can be without using drugs or alcohol.

There has been unparalleled success in this approach whereby the youth in such programs have been shown to accomplish all the lofty goals they have set for themselves, gain important life skills, and use healthy alternatives to drugs and alcohol to discover a greater sense of purpose. Anti-drug scholarships funds appreciate that education, coupled with recovery can help bolster the youth’s sense of self-worth and independence.


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