Drugs And Poverty

732 Words3 Pages
Drugs and Poverty and their link Poverty is not only a lack of sufficient income or material possessions. It is also a condition in which people lack prestige and have less access to resources. The poor often have different lifestyles and different values from those of people not living in poverty. The conditions that poor people often cope with may include: unemployment or off-and-on employment, low-status and low-skill jobs, unstable family and relationships, low involvement in the community, a sense of being isolated from society, low ambition, and feelings of helplessness. Many people living in poverty are divorced, are single parents, or have unhappy marriages. They tend to have higher rates of dropping out of school, arrest, and mental disorders. Because of limited access to health care, they are more likely to suffer from poor physical health than are people considered middle class or above. Sociologists and others have had difficulties collecting valid information about poverty and drug use. Surveys of drug users do not always present an accurate picture. For example, some individuals will not reveal the severity of their drug problem or the severity of their poverty. Some information on the drug-using population comes from treatment programs or outreach services. But because not all individuals with drug abuse problems make use of such programs or services, they go uncounted. Many studies focus on drugs more likely to be used by the poor, such as crack cocaine and heroin, and not on drugs such as marijuana and cocaine that are more likely to be used by the middle and upper classes. All of these factors contribute to an inaccurate picture of drug use as occurring mainly among the poor. Despite these obstacles to collecting valid information, researchers have reached some conclusions about drug use among the poor, especially the extreme poor—the homeless.
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