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How Do Hallucinogens Impact Society? - Damaged Lives, Families, Neighborhoods

substance drug money habit

The Internet and teen magazines provide numerous first-person accounts of young people's ordeals with hallucinogen dependence. A pattern often repeats itself: introduction to a substance by friends, an initial glorious experience, accelerated use, loss of interest in schoolwork and hobbies, a downward spiral in quality of life, and a difficult struggle to freedom.

Finances are an obvious problem for most young substance abusers. Heavy users might spend hundreds of dollars per week on hallucinogens. For substances of the highest quality, the cost per week can run to a thousand dollars or more. The typical teenager on a weekly allowance or working a part–time job cannot afford so costly a habit. Users can obtain some of the needed money by selling or trading jewelry, clothes, DVDs, or more expensive personal items such as bicycles, portable music devices, digicams, and computers. When they run out of objects to sell, they may steal money from parents, siblings, or friends.

Some substance abusers become drug distributors or resort to major theft to support their habits. Prisons are crowded with inmates convicted of drug use and distribution—joined by other inmates who committed more serious crimes to obtain drug money.

The costs of a substance abuse habit and the chain of crimes necessary to support it have ruined countless individuals and families. Whole communities have acquired reputations as drug neighborhoods. They are marred by high crime rates and low property values.

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