Poverty’s Influence on Drug Use

Poverty’s Influence on Drug UsePoverty occurs in all areas of the world, including the United States. According to the American Psychological Association, the rate of poverty in the country was 15.1 percent in 2010, and numbers are projected to be higher now, as unemployment rates have continued to wax and wane since. As Americans continue to live in poverty, they become more likely to experience the influence that their economic status can have on their potential for drug use.

Poverty’s Influence on Drug Use

Living in poverty is incredibly challenging, as everyday necessities are hard to obtain, and trying to stay healthy from day to day can be impossible. There are a number of different ways in which living in poverty can lead to drug use, including the following:

  • Housing – Those who are in poverty often live in substandard housing or even on the streets. This kind of living environment promotes depression and extreme hopelessness, which can influence individuals to begin abusing drugs to help cope with their emotions.
  • Mental health – When impoverished, individuals are generally not able to receive health care, including mental health care. As a result, both adults and children can suffer from psychological disorders that can predispose them to the use of drugs. Combine that with negative living situations, and the likelihood of drug use becomes even greater.
  • Lack of education – Those struggling with poverty often find that they have trouble in school or even have difficulty getting into school, especially if their parents cannot afford it. As a result, they go uneducated about all kinds of things, including the many dangers of drug use. Lack of education can lead to a stronger likelihood of experimentation with drugs.

Living below the poverty line can cause individuals to begin abusing drugs for a variety of different reasons, including lack of safe housing, non-existent healthcare, and poor education.

Popular Drugs of Choice

It’s obvious that people from all economic classes struggle with substance abuse; however, those who are impoverished often use different drugs than those who have more money. For instance, some of the most common drugs of choice for those living in poverty are crack, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. All of these drugs are relatively inexpensive and often easily accessible in lower-income or impoverished neighborhoods.

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