Addiction is a social disease

Dec 23, 2013


Call it a wave, a craze or an epidemic, cheap heroin on city streets and in rural areas of Ohio has become too common, and too costly to ignore. Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth said alcoholism and drug addiction account for a majority of expenses to taxpayers for county jail services.

At the county child protection office, the number of children removed from homes in the current period is five times what it was a year ago, with drug addiction and heroin use in their homes causing the separations.

Many of those families, if not most, will never be re-united.

Yes, this is yet another call for broad reform of state and federal drug laws, sentencing guidelines, practices and treatment and rehabilitation services. It is not a call for law enforcement to fix the problem, or a plea for local, state or federal police agencies to better treat the consequences.

Law enforcement already has done it's part, and stands ready to protect and serve. But alcoholism and drug addiction, first and foremost, are a social problem. Human behavior is not a law enforcement responsibility to fix or cure, but a society's.

And drug addiction is much more complicated today than it was when President Richard Nixon launched the “War on Drugs.” There are a dozen times a hundred different medications, stimulants and relaxers, in addition to the cheap heroin in the streets.

It's overwhelming social problem.

Any meaningful reform must happen at the state and federal levels, with the cooperation and consensus of a broad coalition of professionals. Without support in Columbus and Washington, any chance at reform is doomed, and the War on Drugs will continue with the same results — a booming industry.


Raoul Duke

So, why is it a social disease?

Raoul Duke

How about some examples of why you think that addiction is a social disease?

The General

I think your drinking for one there Jim


Maybe for the same reason that alcohol is a social disease. The fallout affects everyone when drugged-up people rob others to gain money for their addictions, etc.

The government is wasting resources. Change comes from the inside out and those people who are trying to fill their emotional needs with artificial means are the losers.

Our society is being destroyed from within, and any time you want to know who is doing it, just follow the money trail.

The profit made from selling drugs could pay for health-care for everyone.

Simple Enough II

Yeah just like all the taxes placed on tobacco.


law enforcement was established to protect people and property from harm done by others,it is not the job of law to stop self-harm. Prohibition has never worked, drug and alcohol addiction and abuse should be treated as a mental and medical problem first and foremost, I so agree that this is a social problem and if we could stop all the harsh judgements on people who suffer this problem maybe we could start fixing it

Whiskey Tango F...

"Show me who you are friends with and I'll tell you who you are."
Its an old quote I learned from my family. Drunks tend to run around with and marry drunks, smokers, druggies, gamblers, etc...
I know, I know! Profiling, guilt by association, blah, blah, blah.
Bottom line, social illness? YEP!

Simple Enough II

+1 WTF!


Education, awareness, and commitment is what it is going to take. Our kids are our future, and untill they fully understand that the choices they make, are going to effect their lives and society, as a hole. If our kids grow up and never seek out these drugs and choose not to use them, this problem will slowly fade away with the people that use them. But if our kids grow up and follow the same behaviors that are seen from parents, friends, and other drug users they will more then likely be more susceptible to trying them.... it is going to take years to get this problem under control, but it is going to have to start with us educating our kids

Whiskey Tango F...

With our current baby momma, baby daddy model, this is not possible. That and the FACT that our government REWARDS couples for not getting married with even more cash and prizes, you are describing what I will refer to as a "pipe dream"

Simple Enough II

+1. WTF, Don't forget, there are a lot of hypocrites out there also, ashamed as some are my friends, but you say anything and you are a heartless AHole.

Whiskey Tango F...

All we need to do is wear our special government issue rose colored glasses complete with blinder kit.
Recession? OVER!
Unemployment? What unemployment?
Inflation? No inflation here!
Grants are free money, not tax dollars

Now lets all have a toast to our current and past administrations that have created this amazing situation we find ourselves in... COOL-AID anyone?


"Many of those families, if not most, will never be re-united." I would venture to say that most people who are on drugs were, (in my opinion) never a family anyway. Most were either men or women who gave birth to children without the benefit of marriage and a stable home for their children. You do not have to start taking drugs or drinking alcohol. It is a choice.


My mom and dad have been together since 7th grade. Never done drugs, always went to church, never were we rich, but we didn't go without. My sister is the biggest P.O.S drug addict you will ever meet. I consider me and my brother both as successful people. Own our homes, have families, nice cars, good jobs. My parents are still together and are raising my nieces and nephew while my 36 year old sister robs them blind. It's not the parents, it's the company you keep and weak will power. Can't always blame the parents, some people are just bad natured.


Most likely she had a mental health issue that was never identified and treated.


The disease paradigm for addiction is just one more way that the pseudo-science of psychology encourages people to view the choices they make as bad things happening TO them through no fault of their own.