The Link Between Drug Abuse and Corruption

Drug Abuse Deserves Attention

Although drugs may appear to affect the users only, their adverse effects impact transcend are registered beyond the immediate consumers. Families and communities who relied on the person using the substances are negatively affected when the user neglects their responsibilities. For instance, children may fail to go to school when school fees are diverted to purchase the drugs. Similarly, friends and community members who depended on the companionship and friendship of the addict may suffer from their absence or be required to provide support for the rehabilitation of the drug abuser.

Additionally, an average of 1,000 people die weekly due to overdoses and other complications attributed to drug abuse (Rudd et al.,2016). Over the years, the death rate associated with substance abuse has been rising consistently. Rudd et al. (2016) posit that drug overdose deaths increased considerably to 16.3 per 100,000 population in 2015 from 12.3 in 2015. For instance, 52,404 people died in the United States from drug-related issues, an increase from 47,055 in 2014 (Rudd et al., 2016). This implies that without devoting considerable attention to the drug menace, more people will continue to die in the coming years.

Pierce et al. (2017) argue that there is an inherent causation relationship between drug abuse and criminal behavior. This implies that societies experiencing substance abuse problems also encounter increased criminality.

Besides, the need for medical and rehabilitation interventions exerts enormous pressure on the already strained healthcare systems.

Corruption Deserves Attention

Corruption deserves attention due to its catalyzing effects on the economic and social challenges in a country. Corruption hampers investment and economic activities and imposes obstacles that impede political and economic reforms.

Corrupt practices aggravate the living standards by exploiting the public by increasing the costs of services and levying exorbitant prices for public goods. Additionally, the poor in society are pushed deeper into penury as the implications of corruption fall heavily on them.

Moreover, corruption hatches poverty and imperils the general health of the population as they become vulnerable to despondency and mental health impairment.

The ability and effectiveness of the public sector to deliver services are impeded as the performance dwindles. In the absence of an effective accountability structure, the cycle of corrupt practices continues, ultimately resulting in the collapse of the public sector service delivery.

Changing Drug Abuse Perceptions

The overall public perception regarding the extremity of substance abuse has changed significantly over the years, reflecting a growing societal concern about drugs, addiction, and the associated problems. Additionally, the changing attitudes mirror a consistent but gradual transformation on how addicts are treated, including societal beliefs and the most effective treatment approaches (Cunningham & Koski-Jannes, 2019).

Professionals now acknowledge that drug abuse disorders are medical and public health problems instead of moral failings or personal weaknesses. This approach is critical in reversing the negative public attitudes about addicts and promoting a health-seeking behavior (Volkow et al., 2017). Therefore, great emphasis is placed on adopting a supportive and non-judgmental strategy in assisting addicts to overcome the drive to take drugs and make the necessary lifestyle adjustments.

Moreover, experts reckon no isolated approach will be effective in addressing the drug menace in societies. Thus, a multifaceted approach is integral. Additionally, treating addicts is increasingly providing better outcomes than other approaches, including imprisonment.

Changing Corruption Patterns

Previous patterns of corrupt practices were largely happening within a country’s borders. However, this pattern is changing as criminals escalate their fraudulent activities to the transnational level. This implies that resolving issues of corruption is increasingly becoming challenging as corrupt individuals establish complex webs and networks which are almost impossible to penetrate.

Additionally, technology is a significant enabler of digital corruption which is considered difficult to detect and prevent. While governmental or public sector activities were executed on paper, technological advancements have supplanted this operation model to computer-aided practice where technologically savvy individuals orchestrate fraud more easily and erase the digital footprints.

Moreover, as petty corruption is being overtaken by mega corrupt practices, increased transparency is transforming corruption into a more legally compliant operation than the previous brazen impunity. For instance, public officers are drawing exaggerated budgets for projects while considering kickback factors as opposed to previous years where the money would be embezzled without being associated with a project.

Causes and Reasons of Drug Abuse

Peer pressure and associating with people who abuse substances increase a person’s likelihood of engaging in similar behaviors due to the social group’s influence. This is closely linked with living in an environment where an individual is exposed to or can easily access drugs.

Social disorganization also contributes significantly to substance abuse. People who live in such a community do not achieve shared values or address common problems, such as drug abuse.

Previous incidences of emotional, physical, or sexual trauma and socially installed structures such as marginalization of neighborhoods trigger the likelihood of the emergence of substance abuse problems. In such areas, there is a huge potential for widespread acceptance of drugs, moral decay, and the lack of adequate knowledge regarding the risks and dangers of substance abuse.

Causes and Reasons of Corruption

Distorted social, ethical, and moral values breed corrupt practices. Moreover, social pressures and cultural factors which revere affluence and lavish lifestyles stimulate the desire to circumvent the laid down policies to supplement their earnings.

Additionally, poorly formulated accountability and transparency systems encourage people with warped ethical values to engage in corrupt practices. This is closely associated with weak institutions, such as compromised judicial authority, which are rendered incapable of delivering punitive penalties to the culprits.

While bureaucracy is instituted to implement systematic and large-scale coordination in an organization, the resultant inefficiencies stimulate the desire for people to bypass policies, leading to corruption.

Fixing Drug Abuse

Experts are increasingly embracing the view that drug abuse is a public health issue. As a result, there is a growing push for a change in the approach and addressing the substance abuse menace as a public health challenge.

Additionally, incarceration addicts are being dropped as preference is being accorded to implementing widespread treatment approaches to substance abusers. Moreover, people are recognizing that drug abuse is a social issue that requires a multifaceted solution if communities are to effectively address the menace. This also implies that a non-judgmental and socially supportive attitude is critical in encouraging people with an addiction problem to seek support.

Addressing Corruption Challenge

Across the world, countries are developing and implementing policies designed to empower institutions to ensure they resist the pressure from corrupt individuals. Additionally, the empowerment is intended to enhance the effective discharge of services and the delivery of punishment where infringements occur. For instance, judicial institutions are being invigorated to enable them to impose adequately punitive sentences.

Further, there are widespread sensitization campaigns that strengthen the significance and essence of moral and ethical values. This is accompanied by streamlining structures and systems to eliminate bureaucracies that foster corruption.


Cunningham, J.A., Koski-Jännes, A. (2019). The last 10 years: Any changes in perceptions of the seriousness of alcohol, cannabis, and substance use in Canada? Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 14(54), 1–6.

Habibov, N., Fan, L., & Auchynnikava, A. (2019). The effects of corruption on satisfaction with local and national governments. Does corruption ‘grease the wheels’? Europe–Asia Studies, 71(5), 736–752.

Pierce, M., Hayhurst, K., Bird, S. M., Hickman, M., Seddon, T., Dunn, G., & Millar, T. (2017). Insights into the link between drug use and criminality: Lifetime offending of criminally-active opiate users. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 179, 309–316.

Pourallahvirdi M, Rahmani F, Ranjbar F, Ebrahimi, B. H, & Ettehadi, A. (2016). Major causes of drug abuse from the viewpoint of addicted persons referred to addiction treatment centers of Tabriz City, Iran. Archives of Neuroscience, 3(3):e37653. .

Rudd, R., Seth, P., David, F., & Scholl, L. (2016). Increases in drug and opioid–involved overdose deaths — United States, 2010–2015. MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 65(5051), 1445-1452.

Volkow, N. D., Poznyak, V., Saxena, S., Gerra, G., & UNODC-WHO Informal International Scientific Network. (2017). Drug use disorders: Impact of a public health rather than a criminal justice approach. World Psychiatry, 16(2), 213–214.