Impact of Drugs on Communities 

Categories: DrugsSubstance Abuse


This paper focuses on research that was gathered from 11 different sources that provide information about the negative impacts that derives from drugs. Drugs have been around for an extended amount of time, and even though there are various laws against drugs it is still a problem that has not decreased but rather stayed continuous. Salinas, California is a place where drugs are extremely common, additionally it has negatively impacted the community by increasing crime. The gathered research provides information about popular drugs, laws, the different side effects of each substance, and how it can affect pregnancies.

Obviously illegal drugs are unhealthy and unsafe for people, but why has this problem continued even though people know about the consequences? While doing research, there was evidence proving that drugs have many negative impacts such as complications during a pregnancy when the mom uses drugs. According to the data that was gathered during this research, drugs are a huge issue all around the world and the use of illegal substances has increased throughout the years.

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Cocaine, crystal meth, prescription pills, opioids. These are just some of the drugs that have changed people’s lives forever. According the to research provided for this paper, Kunnen (2014) says that drugs have been constantly increasing over the years, causing this problem to become bigger. Elevate Addiction Services (2018) also said that drugs have negatively impacted our community since drug-related criminal acts have increased. Drug trafficking is very common in Salinas and it is situations like these that create more problems which can sometimes lead to deaths, Elevate Addiction Services (2018).

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Increase in crime rates are not the only thing drugs are responsible for, they are also responsible for mental and physical health, Health Direct (2018).

Drugs have also impacted the lives of many innocent people. Women with drug addictions who decide to become pregnant can be negatively impacted by drugs. Women can pass on their addictions to their poor innocent children and can sometimes make their children struggle more in life. According to the Laguna Treatment Hospital (2018), babies that are born from situations like these are more likely to develop neonatal syndrome. Neonatal syndrome is when a baby is withdrawing from a drug that was exposed to it while being in the womb, March of Dimes (2017). Besides babies developing NAS, they can also develop other health problems such as being born premature, being born with low body weight, and trouble gaining weight because of feeding problems, Laguna Treatment Hospital (2018). The article from Laguna Treatment Hospital (2018) also mentions that other long-term effects of drug use for newborns include problems breathing, strokes, heart attacks, and seizures.

People with addictions suffer from many side effects. Drugs not only impact people physically but also mentally. Adults that are between the age of eighteen to twenty-five tend to misuse painkillers, causing them to develop an addiction towards it, National Institute on Drug Abuse (2018). Heroin is one of the most popular drugs all around the world. According to studies, heroin is associated with depression and mental health, Health Direct (2018). People addicted to heroin can have depression, insomnia, anxiety, and future cravings for the drug itself, Health Direct (2018).

Discussion of Research

An Increase of Violence in the Community. According to (Elevate Addiction Services, 2018) it says: “The murder rate in Salinas, California nearly doubled between 2014 and 2015. Nearly every single homicide in Salinas was due to drug-related criminal activity.”

Violence has existed in the community of Salinas for a long time, but drugs have caused violence to increase throughout the years, Elevate Addiction Services (2018). Not only does the presence of drugs increase violence, but it also increases the amount of weapons people own. The article also mentioned that “In 2015, a six-month-long investigation dubbed “Operation Quiet Riot” led to 17 gun seizures, 17 arrests, and the recovery of four pounds of methamphetamine” (Elevate Addiction Services, 2018). Given that information, drugs have greatly impacted the community of Salinas by making it a dangerous place.

The Elevate Addiction Services website provides important information about how drugs have negatively impacted our community. It includes events that have occurred in Salinas relating to drugs such as drugs operations and arrests. The article also informs the reader where most of the drugs in California come from. This article specifically targets the residents of Salinas and it is of great importance because it alerts the residents about how drugs have impacted our community, besides creating addictions.

The Impact of Drugs Toward Pregnancies. The use of drugs not only affects grown-ups, but it also affects babies if the mother uses drugs, Laguna Treatment Hospital (2018). This causes babies to develop a syndrome called neonatal abstinence syndrome. Babies with this syndrome can also develop “long-term health problems in adulthood” (Laguna Treatment Hospital, 2018). The article also mentions specific health issues that babies can face such as “lung, kidney, brain, or bowel problems” (Laguna Treatment Hospital, 2018). Information like this can open one’s eyes and make people realize that innocent babies have to pay for the consequences as well. People have to see that drugs will continue to affect others unless we put a stop to it.

Side Effects of Drugs. The use of drugs will cause the user to develop strange symptoms. Some of the negative effects that derive from cocaine include symptoms such as heart attacks, seizures, nose tissues being extremely harmed if the drug is taken through the nose, malnutrition, and depression, Foundation for a Drug-Free World. According to the same website, Foundation for a Drug-Free World, some effects of crystal meth include hallucinations, insomnia, damaged blood vessels, and damage to the heart, kidney, lung, and liver. This article provides great information about the negative outcomes that drugs can cause. By informing people about the negative effects, it can prevent many from doing drugs as well. These are only 2 of the many drugs that exist worldwide. If the use of drugs is stopped, then there will be less mental illnesses as well.

Personal Bias

The topic of drugs is something I have known about for a long time. When I was younger I used to think that cocaine was the only drug that existed, but as I grew older, I would hear different stories about different drugs. While doing research, I learned many new things about drugs and with this research paper, I hope it can really inform people about the different types of drugs that exist and how they can negatively impact a person’s life forever.

Salinas is a small town where violence is very common and drugs are a contribution to this problem as well. Personally, I am against drugs for many reasons. One of them being that I have seen how drugs have destroyed people. Drugs have ruined happy families, opportunities to have a job, and they have taken away the path of happiness from many people. The creation of drugs is already evil enough, but along with it comes the creation of loneliness, depression, hallucinations, and losing people you care about, Health (2018). In Salinas, drug trafficking is something that occurs constantly. Distribution of drugs occurs here in our very hometown, Salinas. I say this because I have witnessed it before, handshakes do not always seem what they are.

Many people say that a person who has a drug addiction is bad, and although that is partially true, it does not mean we cannot help people with drug addictions. Instead of judging a person, we should help them become a better person by supporting them when they are in the stages of withdrawal. I have seen close relatives of mine experience this and it is something that is difficult to overcome, but it is not impossible.

Implications for the future

In order to decrease the use of illegal drugs, governments must enforce more laws against drugs. Other countries have very strict laws such as China. In China, if a person is found with the possession of illegal substances, he or she has to go to a rehab facility that belongs to the government. People that are found with drugs can also face execution in situations that are more serious, American Addiction Centers (2014). This law is a smart idea because the person is serving time for their crime, but also receiving medical help by being checked into a rehab facility.

Another country that does not tolerate illegal drugs is Vietnam. If a person in Vietnam is found with more than 1.3 pounds of heroin, then that person will instantly be executed, American Addiction Centers (2014). Although this law might be considered too harsh, sometimes it is the only way people will listen. The government already has laws that are against drugs but it still seems like it is not enough. Because of this, laws need to be harder so that the use of illegal drugs can decrease. Reducing drugs can decrease crime rates as well. As mentioned before, drugs are responsible for the violence that occurs all over the world but by decreasing the use of illegal drugs, violence will also decrease.

Something important to keep in mind is that many of these drugs come from other countries as well, Reese (2015). Border patrol should be more observant and careful when checking people’s luggage. Even though this may require more time, it is better for everyone because by being more careful, it prevents more drugs from entering the country.

Having easy access to treatment programs would help reduce the use of drugs. “An estimated 80 to 90 percent of individuals who could benefit from treatment are not getting it” (Sederer, 2016). By offering affordable treatment programs to people, it will help many of those who need it. Currently, many programs make it difficult for people with drug addictions to seek help because of their high prices. Not only will this idea help people with drug addiction but also, “The Affordable Care Act requires as an essential service element coverage and parity for mental health and substance use disorders, meaning that insurance benefits for addiction must be equivalent to any other covered general medical condition” (Sederer, 2016).

Treatments related to chronic pain should require medical guidelines beforehand in order to prevent addictions from happening Sederer (2016). By doing this, not only will it decrease drug addictions but it will also help patients with a limit in case that the patient has real chronic pain. Knowing a person’s limit is very important as well as educating others about drug abuse, Sederer (2016). By employing “TV, radio, and social media to educate families about abuse prevention” it can “reduce the nonmedical use of narcotic pain pills” (Sederer, 2016).


After gathering information from different sources, I have learned that drugs increase crime rates in communities. Salinas is a perfect example that supports this claim for the reason that violence has increased throughout the years, Elevate Addiction Services (2018). I used to believe that drugs only affected those who put all of those harmful chemicals into their bodies, but in reality it affects everyone around them as well. Gaining knowledge about the different side effects drugs can cause prevents me from ever wanting to try them. Drugs can lead to depression and other mental illnesses that can cause hallucinations, Foundation for a Drug-Free World.

Drugs have also broken families and led people to loneliness which can also be unhealthy because, without a strong support system, it is harder to give up drugs. This not only harms the person addicted to drugs, but it also affects their loved ones because they are the ones who are watching their family, or friend harm themselves.

Reducing drug addictions is not impossible, but it does require people who are willing to make a change in our world. We can start off by finding ways to help people in our own community, Salinas. Not only do people with addictions need it, but think about the future and what it holds for your kids. There are ways to prevent the negative use of drugs from happening. Drug addictions are a topic many people have known about for ages, but now it is time to make a change and help those who really need it.

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Impact of Drugs on Communities . (2021, Oct 12). Retrieved from

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