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Poverty and Addiction

It is hard to tell whether poverty increases drug use, or drug use increases poverty. Either point can be infinitely debated. What cannot be debated is the higher rate of drug addiction within lower socio-economic neighborhoods.

The term drug culture is often used to describe the inner city of Baltimore, Los Angeles, or New York. To create a drug culture there has to be widespread and generational involvement with drugs, for example, children born to addicted mothers or fathers supporting their family by dealing. When living in a place where examples like these are common, generational drug use and drug dealing surface. When not only drug use is accepted, but the sale of narcotics seems to be the best career path for young people, drugs and drug addiction can run rampant. The drug culture worsens with each generation, as drug use, drug dealing, and the very fact that drugs are major part of their lives and community becomes a norm rather than a practice of desperation or illness.

Saginaw Michigan is arguably the poorest and most dangerous city in America with over 1,000 murders per- 50,000 people. When looking at poverty and drugs, either together or separate, you see a group of people that are landlocked. They are stuck in their living conditions, their poverty, and their addiction,. There is no longer a major train service entering and leaving Saginaw, essentially locking residents in a hostile world. The real deterrent for one being able to improve their situation is the dire lack of jobs. A city that was built on the back of the logging industry and the prosperity of Detroit are now past the point of being slated for desolation. It is literally deserted by industry and opportunity. It is hard to tell if drug dealers precede drug addicts or if the demand in market encourages drug dealers to surface. The truth most likely lies somewhere in between the two. Regardless of the cycle of poverty, addiction and stagnation continue.

Such cities deal with a population that lacks financial stability and family stability. This can be traced back to the limited opportunities and the oppressing circumstances. If an addict in this environment elects to stop using, treatment options are just as scarce. Private treatment is often out of the question. Despite the fact that Saginaw has the highest murder rate in the country, the police department has essentially been cut in half and any efforts for city-funded treatment have been overlooked.

Treatment facilities in high crime areas may be the remedy its residents can benefit from the most. 

Works Cited:

1.       Fleischman, Jessica.  “Saginaw again ranks third in violent crime, according to FBI statistics.”  www.mlive.com.   16 September 2013.  Web.  25 November 2013.

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Filed under: Addiction, Alcohol and Drugs · Tags: Addiction, drugs, poverty