Within the scope of this research, we will discuss the suggestion that social problems are socially constructed. In other words, this means that any problem our society at large experiences is actually brought about by this very society. There are numerous societal issues that could be used to prove this, however, within the scope of this research, we will focus on the problem of drug abuse.
Drug abuse can definitely be considered a socially constructed problem. There are those who argue that drug abuse is primarily a medical or biological problem; however, after close elaboration and research, it appears that it is a social problem that we have to deal with. Drug abuse is also a problem that is socially constructed. People who abuse drugs cannot find other alternative to this behavior – this means that society at large is not flexible enough to provide equal opportunities for all of its members.
Another important thing to consider when we suggest that drug abuse is socially constructed problem is that certain parts of our society actually contribute to the growing number of abusers, especially when it comes to teenagers. Take the movie industry, for instance. There are numerous films out there that show a person on drugs as a hero; they do not say that drugs are good explicitly, but the overall message from the film is that the particular hero is good, and if he/she is using drugs, it is OK for other people to do the same. This means that this particular part of the society facilitates the spread of such social problem as drug abuse.
Another issue to be discussed here is that our society creates the problem of drug abuse by actually allowing people to sell illegal drugs. It all depends on society’s attitudes: in Thailand, for instance, there is a death penalty that serves as a demotivator for drug pushers: they know that if caught, they will be executed. Of course, American society will never go for death penalty; however, more effective measures should be taken in order to stop drug abuse.
It is our society’s apathetical position that actually constructs the whole problem of drug abuse. Large parts of society start to accept marijuana smoking as a normal thing; well, this leads to gradual transmission on more dangerous drugs, and society can do nothing about it. People are just getting used to the fact that numerous other people abuse illegal substances; it is a social problem that somewhat resembles TV violence problem – while people are bothered by it, there is nothing that can be done, as it have almost become a social norm.
It is apparent that social problems are socially constructed, the drug abuse problem is one of the bets examples to prove it. American society at large needs to integrate its efforts in order to start solving those social problems in a way civilized society would.