The impact of societal stigma on the experiences and results of people living with substance abuse is significant. Negative attitudes, stereotyping, and discrimination linked with substance abuse typically have a variety of harmful consequences for affected individuals and society as a whole (Goldman 1271). Due to the negative thoughts and feelings of shame, guilt, and isolation they foster, stigmatizing attitudes can make it challenging to seek help. Additionally, fears about their reputations may deter people from seeking help, which feeds the cycle of addiction and its associated issues. Understanding the powerful effects of social stigma is critical for developing effective drug misuse prevention and rehabilitation measures.
America’s Drug Abuse Change Due To Stigma Reduction
Stigma reduction is a crucial step taken by the USA, which has positively played a key role in reducing drug abuse. Within society, people view drug usage as an immoral act, and therefore, people tend to distance themselves from drug addicts and may end up treating them negatively. Without the stigma, substance abusers are more likely to seek therapy. After the stigma was lifted, drug addicts had greater treatment options (Tovino and Stacey, 783). As social views change, policymakers and healthcare practitioners see the need to move away from punitive approaches and toward more compassionate and health-oriented solutions. Therefore if substance abusers are not judged, they are more likely to get the care they need.
The second aspect that changed as a result of the changes in stigma perception is access to medical care. Since people have reduced their negative attitudes, people are socially and mentally comfortable seeking medical care from the available health centres. Additionally, resources have also been deployed to cater for drug addicts; this act was not previously done. Integrating prevention, treatment, and recovery services into healthcare systems is the most effective strategy to combat substance misuse and its effects. Recent healthcare reform laws and other trends are enabling deeper integration to serve individual and public health better, decrease health inequities, and lower costs.
The third aspect is enhanced treatment outcomes, where a person who uses drugs is able to fully utilize the opportunity effectively in terms of taking the proper medication and other medical requirements on time and within the correct dosage (Earnshaw, 1300). This has greatly influenced the medical outcome that patients get, which has been positive and promoted faster recovery of patients. This works form the logical point of view that human recovers well under a supportive environment rather than a hostile environment full of stigma (Byungkyu et al. 14). It is clear that some of the treatment requires one to engage in outdoor exercise that involves interaction with the society who impact is direct to the treatment outcome of the patient. A supportive society will bridge the success of the exercise recovery, while a non-supportive society will cause patients to give up and have negative recovery progress.
The fourth change in the United States is that there have been evidenced prevention and harm reduction efforts. It is clear that after reducing stigma, initiatives have actively promoted the fight against drug abuse. Now more than ever, health awareness rallies and campaigns may be simply and publicly organized through the use of social media platforms, traditional media, and live crusades (Byungkyu et al. 14). A substantial quantity of knowledge about drug usage has been generated as a result of increasing openness and campaigns, and as a direct result, a significant percentage of drug addiction has been avoided. This is due to the fact that individuals may learn about the harmful consequences of drugs and either avoid them or put in place early mechanisms to wean themselves off of their reliance on them.
The last change that has occurred is the reduction of social barriers. Social barriers are situations that individuals are born into, grow up in, live in, learn from, and work in throughout their lives; these factors are also known as social determinants of health (Lima 27). Social barriers can lead to impaired functioning among persons who have impairments. Some instances of societal obstacles are as follows: People with impairments have a far lower chance of finding gainful employment. It is, therefore, clear that when social barriers are removed, drug addicts can be able to interact with other people without discrimination or marginalization easily; when patients are able to build relationships with society, it directly helps them to acquire the proper medical and social support to promote effective recovery.
Effects of Treating Drug Abuse As a Mental Problem Rather Than a Criminal Offense
Treating Drug abuse as a mental problem rather than a criminal offence has significantly reduced crimes associated with drug abuse, with proper prevention treatment and recovery, people with drug abuse problems have been found to be responsible people within the society free from dangerous criminal acts in the society (Byungkyu et al. 16). various reasons have been associated with the reduction of this crime rates which includes; firstly, prioritizing treatment over punishment has been so positive in obtaining a long term solution to drug abuse it is clear that when a person is treated and leaves the drug habits they tend to avoid it for the longest time possible and in most cases they never go back to using the drug again, but on the other hand if they are just punished or jailed for sometimes they are later own released but with the same drug behaviour and therefore the crime rate is still constant without any change. Therefore with this creative and healthy approach, drug abuse in the USA has dramatically reduced and will continue to reduce.
The second aspect is that de-stigmatization and treatment of drug abuse as a mental issue have caused people to voluntarily seek help from public health facilities without fearing being jailed. This has given drug abusers the ability to come out clean and explain their problems to the medical officers who have been supportive in providing intervention to control drug abuse and ensuring that the high number of people suffering from drug abuse are able to receive care and restrain from doing crimes in the society (Lima 25). With quality treatment and exercise, people slowly restrain from crimes associated with taking drugs; it is clear that when people are under the influence of drugs, they lack substantial thinking in acquiring basic needs and services and engage in unlawful activities.
Thirdly, treating drug abuse as a mental issue rather than a crime has significantly boosted preventive strategies and early intervention. Some of the ways that this has been achieved are through providing education and promoting mental health resources (Volkow 15). Providing proper open education in society to students and also elderly people generally help in ensuring that they are not encouraged to engage in drug taking or instead helps guide people who have already started using it to stop or reduce it. This intervention is very crucial in ensuring that the number of drug abusers is significantly reduced within the society. The reduction of drug abusers directly means that all the crimes associated with drug abuse are reduced.
Finally, one of the best strategies for reducing harm is shifting the focus from treating drug usage as a criminal offence to treating it as a mental health issue. This can be accomplished by the implementation of needle exchange programs, safe injection places, and responsible drug use (Janet et al. 34). These characteristics primarily work towards mitigating the more severe side effects that the medication has on the patient. When these impacts are reduced over time, the volume of drug influence and diseases related to drug use are cabbed, fostering harmony and peace among society rather than rising crime rates. This is because the ailments are related to drug use.
Causes of Drugs Other Than Beverage Alcohol Being Historically Stigmatized
Over time, alcohol has been consumed by people in the United States without stigmatization for centuries. Some of the reasons that have been associated with this scenario include; cultural and moral values. It is clear that when people are raised, they get used to the environment around them, meaning that the way of life in society is ingrained into their system (Meyers et al., 108707). Based on the same consideration, it is clear that people learn to accept alcohol as part of their normal life drinks without any discrimination, just the same way people are able to learn the foods and cultural settings of their ancestors without questioning or having stigma. Nevertheless, on the other hand, hard drugs have not been part of people’s lives and have been introduced by addicts or other teenage friends; it is therefore viewed as foreign and therefore stigmatized.
The second aspect is that government policies and media have been extensively used for advertising alcohol, making it seem just like a normal drug within society that can be used to cheer up people. However, it always comes with the drink responsibly notice and is restricted to people above the required age limit. The same media has also been used to stigmatize other drugs and consider them harmful to human life (National Academies of Sciences). Over time, the media has been used to air out programs showing the effects of drugs on people or cover drug-associated crimes, which have greatly helped in building negative consideration of the drug by the general public since they are able to see the effects associated with the drugs. Additionally, government policies have also been strict on drug abuse, and therefore, many people are seen to refrain from using it, and one seen using the drug is considered an outcast, and they may face a high rate of stigmatization.
Racial prejudice and historical event are other aspects that have highly contributed to the stigmatization of drugs such as opium which has been highly linked with the Chinese who migrated to the United States (Renner and John 137). It is, therefore, clear that some people were disadvantaged. Therefore, the drugs that were associated with them were entirely banned and considered toxic to people, which was very crucial in increasing the stigmatization of those types of drugs and also increasing the stigma of people addicted to them. On the other hand, alcohol was embraced by the states and therefore promoted favourable consideration free from stigmatization.
Perception of harm and social disruption is another crucial factor that has promoted the stigmatization of drugs for a very long period of time (Renner and John 138). Hard drugs have been associated with rogue behaviour within society, which has disrupted people’s harmony through actions such as noise, burglary and rape cases which has greatly fueled negative attitudes towards these drugs. Additionally, these drugs have been proven to affect the person’s health using them drastically. Therefore, many people find it destructive rather than productive as far as health issues are concerned.
Conclusively, the USA has dramatically changed the drug abuse narrative by considering it a mental issue rather than a criminal offence. This has given drug addicts the opportunity to seek medical attention freely without any stigma, promoting quality health care outcomes. Apart from quality health care, this approach has also significantly reduced crime rates based on the fact that people who use drugs have been extensively absorbed in the treatment sessions, and therefore, crimes being committed by people on drugs are very minimal as compared to the past time when many drug addicts were in the streets rather than in treatment.
Byungkyu et al. “Systematic evaluation of state policy interventions targeting the US opioid epidemic, 2007-2018.” JAMA Network Open 4.2 (2021): e2036687-e2036687.
Earnshaw, Valerie A. “Stigma and substance use disorders: A clinical, research, and advocacy agenda.” American Psychologist 75.9 (2020): 1300.
Barry, Colleen L., et al. “Stigma, discrimination, treatment effectiveness, and policy: public views about drug addiction and mental illness.” Psychiatric Services 65.10 (2014): 1269–1272.
Lima, “Humanity and the Use of Substances: A Historical Overview.” Drugs and Human Behavior: Biopsychosocial Aspects of Psychotropic Substances Use (2021): 3-26.
Meyers, S.A., et al. “The Intersection of Gender and Drug Use-Related Stigma: A Mixed Methods Systematic Review and Synthesis of the Literature.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 223, 2021, p. 108706. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2021.108706.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2016). Ending discrimination against people with mental and substance use disorders: The evidence for stigma change. National Academies Press.
Renner Jr, John A. “Counteracting the effect of stigma on education for substance use disorders.” FOCUS, A Journal of the American Psychiatric Association 17.2 (2019): 134–140.
Tovino, Stacey A. “Stigma in the Statute: When the Language of the Law Injuries.” William & Mary Law Review 64.3 (2023): 783.
Volkow, Nora D. “America’s addiction to opioids: Heroin and prescription drug abuse.” Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control 14 (2014): 1–16.
Zwick, Janet, et al. “Stigma: How It Affects the Substance Use Disorder Patient.” Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, vol. 15, no. 1, 2020, doi: 10.1186/s13011-020-00288-0.
Book Review: Half Enslaved Person And Half Free. The Roots Of Civil War By Bruce Levine Essay Example
In Half enslaved person and Half Free, Levine expounds on social dimensions concerning antebellum politics, terming them as the “resynthesis of politic and social history.” As highlighted by the title of the book, throughout the various chapters, Levine explores the central paradox that followed the American Revolution, particularly asserting that the newly-minted state of America was simultaneously one of the worldwide most extraordinary slaveholding powers and, at the same time,, the freest nation of the nineteenth century (Levine 4). According to Levine, the American Civil War exemplified “the second act of America’s democratic revolution” as he aimed to explore and outline its primary causes (3). The conflict was deeply rooted in the differing economies of the enslaved American South and American free North. The differences created clashing perceptions concerning each region’s values and aims.
The author highlights the significant differences between the Southern and Northern political leaders, alongside social and cultural distinctions that might have disrupted the nation’s fragile unity, founded by successive sectional compromises through 1861. Levine explores different opinions of both the Southerners and Northerners, ranging from those of the masters who were open-minded and willing to “embrace individuals from all social classes” to the brutal enslavers (84). Notably, it is significantly challenging to determine the author’s social opinion concerning social structure due to his rich use and integration of both primary and secondary sources. The integration of the different sources makes Levine’s writing more focused on unfolding the events and the readers’ emotions, contrary to buying his take on the matter. An interpretation is set between the tensions of the American South and North. The author places the slavery institution as the primary cause of the American Civil War and ascertains that it was not merely an economic system but a political and social institution that helped shape US politics and culture. The Civil War helped in resolving the moral question surrounding the slavery institution.
Levine starts by outlining the American slavery practice and culture when introducing the readers to his monograph. The author argues that slavery existed before it was employed or introduced in the US, and the ancient cultures deemed it appropriate and valuable. Firstly, the author depicts the American paradox by describing “this new land liberty as the “greatest (slaveholding power) … of the nineteenth-century world” (Levine 5). The US was renowned for establishing new beginnings and a haven for many. However, the incorporation of the paradox demonstrates how the desire for a civilized society was utterly contradicted by the American South’s excessive dependence on slavery. The American North resolved the contradiction quickly since they did not depend on cotton production, while the American South was lagging to “follow the path of gradual emancipation” (Levine 13). The contrast between the two gives the readers significant insights concerning the causes of the Civil War and divisions between the South and North. In addition, the author posits that slavery evoked the strongest emotions concerning the desire for liberty and equality in the US. In explaining how the “North and South organized their labor systems,” the author implies that the two regions separated because of their different beliefs and due to the country’s needs (Levine 14). The country struggled to attain economic independence, and the enslavers needed to produce large amounts of products efficiently and quickly.
Levine uses a narrative method of writing, which explores and outlines the events that caused the Civil War. Unlike the other political historians who narrow their focus on electoral outcomes, leaders, or machinations, Levine offers a comprehensive synthesis of cultural trends that impacted and influenced antebellum political life. The author posits that the hybrid slavery system in the American South, with a portion following the provincial and traditionalist and the other tied to the larger and capitalist world, formed a culture that was riddled with significant contradictions. He emphasizes the planters’ roles in Southern politics, specifically in defending against slavery after 1820, which gives more comprehensive information on how the planters ruled their communities, families, and plantations. The overview of the African-American slave community is comprehensive, thorough, and satisfying to the readers as it demonstrates various ways enslaved people, for example, re-shaped and appropriated Christianity as their strategy to deal with debasement and bondage (Levine 106). In addition, the author synthesizes secondary sources, offers a critical analysis of historical figures and events, and offers his interpretation of antebellum politics. The combination of analysis and storytelling forms an accessible and transparent method of writing that creates compelling and informative data on the primary causes and outcomes of the Civil War.
One of the main strengths of Half enslaved person and Half Free by Levine is the use of first-hand accounts, particularly primary sources like newspapers, diaries, and letters, in providing detailed and comprehensive information about life during Antebellum America. First-hand information gives the readers a sense of the people’s emotions, thoughts, and experiences, mainly the enslaved individuals, who were directly impacted by the events and economic issues that led to the Civil War. Consequently, humanizing the discussed historical events and figures makes the narrative more engaging. On the other hand, Levine projects his biases to the readers by implying that the Civil War was unavoidable following the drastic diversity among the Southern lifestyles and abolitionist North. The author implies that since no party was willing to buy the ideas of the other, the possible resolution was either war or rebellion. Despite the previous interpretation and documentation of the events leading to the Civil War suggesting the inescapability of the Civil War, Levine explores and expounds on these events by providing examples of misunderstanding, fear, and stress, which can conclude his certainty that the war disrupted American society.
The author falls short in explaining the racial underpinnings of American North slavery. Levine could have effectively addressed these issues by evaluating more concerning the pernicious and pervasive, alongside national tenets that enhanced white superiority. It would have helped indicate how the US was half free and half slave despite the sectional discord and political tensions. Furthermore, the author fails to explain why African Americans who offered free labor in the North identified themselves as free and enslaved. At the same time, the whites defined themselves in terms of values. Levine would have developed his work on why the North blacks suffered occupational eviction in the hands of desperate and unskilled Irish laborers.
Instead of interpreting the text to insinuate that the American South was home to enslavers while the North was for slavery abolitionists, the author would have further explained why the free African Americans identified as free and enslaved. The book should integrate an explanation that some free individuals who were previously enslaved and residing in the North still identified as half-enslaved people and Half free because of the poor treatment they were receiving in the job market. The author highlights that Northern society was significantly riddled by racism and fails to acknowledge or give explicit details on how racism shaped antebellum American politics. Notably, the author would have benefitted significantly from The Wages of Whiteness by David Roediger, which explicitly explores wage slavery and white slavery while showing the racist foundations set by the white working class in antebellum America. It would have enriched his work on issues of racism and race since these were the central features of antebellum US.
In summary, Half enslaved person and Half Free is an engaging and exciting work by Bruce Levine as it broadens the vision range for readers learning and invested in knowing the exact causes of the Civil War. The author skilfully and excellently exemplifies the two American societies that existed within one nation during the events leading to the civil war. In addition, Levine intelligently assesses different cultural components, such as religion, that shaped antebellum political life. Nevertheless, in some instances, Levine fails to provide the in-depth information necessary for understanding significant issues and events since the text is a synthesis of limited length. The book is also prose that can be boring and dense for college students.
Levine, Bruce. Half enslaved person and Half Free, Revised Edition: The Roots of Civil War. Macmillan, 2005.
How I Wrote Aura Essay Example
Every individual is a steward of creation. This is because people protect their property passionately, remembering that God created everything and should be appreciated. However, controversies have concerned the creation history, evolution, and origin. This arises due to the differences in religions and perceptions of creation stories. It varies from ‘there is no God’ to ‘everything belongs to God, including ourselves. Generally, creation is the process of bringing a non-existent thing into existence, mostly described as a unique and supernatural action. Since the controversy describes some human experiences, it has also been featured in literature to reveal to the future generation that the controversy existed long ago. In this regard, Fuentes’ How I Wrote Aura is among the most appropriate literature demonstrating the creation controversy. The main discussion in the How I Wrote Aura is, “Is there creation without tradition? But again, can tradition survive without renewal?” (Fuentes 535). Therefore, the below explains how Aura relates to these questions.
Mostly, creation is believed to occur under a tradition. This is because people witness the birth of their children but still refer to them as God’s creation. In this case, when people are created at different times, they come from nonexistence to existence, which exhibits the life of other people, regardless of meeting them or not. The most appropriate illustration for this claim is the stories of Pushkin, Dickens, and James. First, although the stories come from different times, their mythical settings are similar. “You invariably have three figures: the old woman, the young woman, and the young man” (Fuentes 536). This shows that every family setting must have existed in a different setting regardless of its uniqueness. It follows that interactions in society follow traditions. Also, all the young men in the stories seek secrets held by old women who may take them to the grave at any time if not well sought. This shows that the creation of such insecurities and curiosities cannot occur without traditions. “In all three works, the intruding young man wishes to know the old lady’s secret: the secret of fortune in Pushkin, the secret of love in Dickens, the secret of poetry in James” (Fuentes 536). The text further proves the claim as each level imitates one another per traditions. Therefore, since all the stories come into existence from nothing and independently consist of similar myths, creation cannot occur without traditions.
Second, the creation of a twist of machismo occurs with a corresponding tradition. Generally, masculinity is believed to serve society more than femininity. Any occurrence of a change in this perception is likely to be a new creation since it did not originally exist. “La sefiora Consuelo, Aura and Felipe Montero joined this illustrious company, but with a twist” (Fuentes 536). This seemed a new occurrence in society since it was the least expected, as Filipe was the only one obliged to find the secret. At this moment, the male had changed into deception as machismo could not persist in seeking secrets. “And do not all three ladies descend from Michelet’s medieval sorceress who reserves for herself, be it at the price of death by fire, the secrets of a knowledge forbidden by modern reason” (Fuentes 536). This is proof of the new creation of masculinity perception. However, considering the most appropriate mythical examples of traditions, this story was similar to the case of the Adam and Eve and Doll’s House stories. In this case, Adam requested God “to reduce me to my dust, Desirous to resign, and render back All I received, unable to perform The terms too hard” (Fuentes 536). This shows how Adam was so disappointed by Eve’s actions that they defied machismo. Hence, no creation is without tradition since the twist in masculinity is per mythical stories.
How I Wrote Aura also illustrates whether tradition can survive without renewal. The text claims that if a tradition is not renewed, it will likely remain inactive, and its influence may not be easily recognized. Precisely, tradition renewal means that an older tradition can be integrated into the current human experiences, including when the traditions are modified to fit the context. This includes modification based on their origin and application to maintain the traditions’ objectives in the new context. “I then discovered that the final source of this story was the Chinese tale called “The Biography of Ai’-King,” part of the collection called the Tsien teng sin ho” (Fuentes 536). This shows that originally the tradition was only applicable in the Chinese context but later renewed to fit this context. Besides, its objective and focus remained the same. “Could I, could anyone, go beyond the ‘Biography of Af King’ to the multiple sources, the myriad, bubbling springs in which this final tale lost itself” (Fuentes 536). Thus, despite the changes in the renewal to fit the context’s case, the objective of the Chinese tradition remained the same. “Its constant themes: the supernatural virgin, the fatal woman, the spectral bride, the couple reunited?” (Fuentes 536). Therefore, traditions cannot survive without renewal since it’s one way of integrating them with the cultural and generational changes promoted by literature.
Although all the above explanations support the claim of traditions in the creation and its renewal, How I Wrote Aura Steal depicts are contrary idea. In this case, Maria Callas was expected to align her song and voice creations with the tradition’s expectations. “She was already a young myth” (Fuentes 537). This is because tradition believes that talents get old as time goes on. However, Maria Callas’ story had a different experience. “Yes, she had slimmed down, we all knew it, without losing her glorious and warm voice, the voice of the supreme diva” (Fuentes 538). This shows that her stewardship towards her voice creation differed from how traditions worked. Similarly, she depicted a different perspective on listening to men at her age. Although traditions proved that femininity surpassed masculinity, Maria Callas expressed a different perception. “I really think I have never met a woman who lent more attention to the man she was listening to than Maria Callas” (Fuentes 538). Therefore, all creations occur per the traditions’ expectations.
However, Maria Callas could not escape all traditions despite her age. Generally, most singers had higher tendencies to use vulgar speech and voices as they easily integrated with their audiences. “I had heard Maria Callas sing La Traviata in Mexico City when she and I were more or less the same age, twenty years old perhaps” (Fuentes 538). This confirms that the traditions had recognized the vulgar voices and speeches among the youths as expected. Aura compared his experience with Maria Callas during their twenties and thirty years later. “And in this comparison, I discovered yet another voice, not the slightly vulgar voice of the highly intelligent woman seated at my right” (Fuentes 538). Hence, it is not easy to completely escape tradition in one’s creation as Maria Callas had developed new perceptions in the field, but her voice could remain vulgar.
In conclusion, no creation comes without tradition. Also, the survival chances of a tradition without renewal are minimal. To begin with, the stories of Pushkin, Dickens, and James depict how similar most family settings are to myths. Also, the creation of a twist in masculinity is an imitation of previous traditions. The traditions are common, including in the stories of Adam and Eve and Doll’sHouse. On the other hand, traditions can cross different borders. Their renewal maintains the tradition’s objectives, just like the Chinese tradition used in this context to maintain the themes concerning women. However, this claim does not always hold. This is because Maria Callas could not change her voice and listening skills toward men as per tradition. However, the traditions cannot be escaped completely as Maria Callas could not stop using a vulgar voice. Therefore, no creation occurs without traditional involvement.
Fuentes, Carlos. “How I wrote Aura.” Aura (London: Andr Deutsch) 6188 (1990). https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiR46eF8OT-AhUMXaQEHYuTBnIQFnoECAwQAQ&url=httpswww.worldliteraturetoday.orgsitesdefaultfilesstaticdocsarchive-issueswlt57.4-carlosfuentes.pdf&usg=AOvVaw0Dx0L1nDjP9NjELpDLAVnQ