Substance abuse is a huge problem today, yet, many people don’t know how big of a problem it is in the States. According to a study conducted in 2005, “22 million Americans had a problem or struggled with drugs and alcohol. 95 percent of these people were unaware they had a legitimate problem, and many were unsuccessful in finding help or assistance with this problem” (HealthyPeople.gov, 2020 Topics and Adjectives, par.1). Also as Psychology Today states, “Both substance use disorders and gambling behaviors have an increased likelihood of being accompanied by mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety or other pre-existing problems. Substance use and gambling disorders not only engage the same brain mechanisms of compulsivity, they respond to many of the same approaches to treatment” (Psychology Today, What is Addiction?). This is particularly true today where there are many cases of mental health being tied to substance abuse. Now, imagine a world where this problem was eliminated. Many families would be saved, lives wouldn’t be in jeopardy, and there would be a new sense of cleanliness.
Most of the human race obtain alcohol or drugs by purchasing these things at the local supermarket, pharmacy, or even the nearby corner store. However, since these two things are so readily available, it can be easy to get carried away with purchasing such goods. There’s really no way of tracking how much one has bought and consumed except at public bars. If a record system was implemented, there would be better control over these substances.
A record system would be relatively easy to maintain and control. Once an American Citizen turns 21, he/she would automatically be enrolled into a system that tracks the amount of drugs or alcohol purchased by the individual. There would be different algorithms for each person, based on their background, in-house family members over 21, and financial stability. In simpler terms, if one was to purchase absurd amounts of alcohol in a short amount of time, a red flag would pop up on the person’s record. This would cause a caretaker or someone of the sort to go check up on that individual. They would make sure they are okay and doing well. There would also be some slack for those who are medically prescribed a medication and need to order or purchase it consistently.
This would prove beneficial because as time goes on, “eventually drug abuse can consume your life, stopping social and intellectual development. This only reinforces feelings of isolation” (Laurence Robinson, Melinda Smith and Jeanne Segal. Drug Abuse and Addiction. Par. 9). So basically when a person is going through any type of substance abuse, whether it be drugs or alcohol, or both, the desires and feelings of isolation can start to cultivate. This would cause people to start resisting help a lot more than usual. Thus, making resources for help useless.
This record system would also help people see an actual visual representation of how much they are consuming. When many today buy alcohol, they aren’t aware how much they are actually putting into their bodies. However, with this new record. It would show them face to face how much they are buying and consuming as well. The other nice thing about this system would be that everything on the person’s record or account, would be private. Only the person whom the account is tied to would be able to access all the information on the record. They wouldn’t have to feel guilty or nervous that other people would be viewing their activity. The only people that would be able to see it would be authorized professionals that only seek out to help those that raise a couple red flags. So there would really be no shame factor in this system.
As was mentioned earlier, substance abuse is a very real problem that needs to be known. There are families, mental health, physical health, communities, and lives at stake every day with this tragic problem. Many try to turn to rehab and last there for years. Yet, that is often after the fact, when it’s too late. When people already realize there is a problem within them. So why not stop it sooner? This record system would open the eyes of many before problems arise. It would encourage people to think twice before purchasing drugs or alcohol. Don’t we all want a world free of addiction?
Laurence Robinson, Melinda Smith, Jeanne Segal. Drug Abuse and Addiction, June 2019. Help Guide
HealthyPeople.org. 2020 Topics and Objectives, Substance abuse, 2014.
Psychology Today, What is addiction?, 2019.