The Relation between Poverty and Substance Abuse

Posted: August 20, 2015 by in Rehab Place Treatment Center

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Defining Poverty

Individuals, who suffer from social and economic discriminations, are often considered to be in poverty. The word essentially refers to the scarcity or the state where a person lacks a certain amount of money or resources. It is used as a way to identify people who do not have enough for the bare necessities including food, clothing, and shelter. Social scientists look at poverty as more than just not having enough money.

According to the World Bank Organization, they describe poverty in this way:

“Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time.

Poverty has many faces, changing from place to place, and has been described in many ways.  Most often, poverty is a dire situation people want to escape. So, poverty is clearly a call to action — for the poor and wealthy alike — a call to change the world so that many more can have enough to eat, adequate shelter, access to education and health, protection from violence, and an equal voice in their communities.”

Poverty and Substance Abuse

Studies suggest that there is a strong correlation between poverty, social rejection, and drug abuse. Those who are unemployed, in poor housing, and dropout of school have a higher rate of substance abuse compared to those who do not fit into any of these types. It should be noted, that these certain influences do not completely determine whether a person abuses alcohol or drugs.

According to many treatment center programs, there are a lot of other risk factors related with alcohol and drug abuse. Other factors include childhood acquaintances and friends, genetics, mental and psychological issues. In some instances, folks who are poor also express high risk factors. But, those who are not grappling with poverty may also experience these risk factors. Sadly, many individuals who are poor become rooted in the lifestyle that often includes dealings with law enforcement, incarceration, poor health effects, and no shelter.  Because of these problems, surveys and studies often focus on these low-income areas and the outcome is a misrepresentation in public reporting.  The study suggests that low income alcohol and drug abuse rate is possibly biased because of this style of reporting. It also shows that low income is the reason of the decreasing rate of substance abuse patients who seek help from treatment center programs.

The Cycle of Poverty and Addiction

The vicious cycle of poverty is a phenomenon where individuals deeply seated in poverty are there due to a myriad of reasons. Lack of education, weak family bonds, negative family experiences, limited chance to employment and health care services all contribute to this disparaging cycle. Poverty may have originated from previous generations, before the present one this is always the reason that prevents many individuals from seeking treatment center programs. Negative role models will set up individuals to endure to live this same lifestyle. Without outside involvement to give people the chance to quality education and employment, the cycle may continue for generations.

Concerning addiction, there are some indications to suggest that those stuck in the cycle of poverty, which also have substance abuse issues, have deliberately more difficult times breaking the vicious cycle. Uneducated folk continue destroying themselves with this dangerous life compared to those who are not poor. In addition, if parents are dealing with addictions, their kids may have a higher risk of also suffering from the same disease and will probably need to engage in treatment center programs.

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