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Is Drug Use in Rich Neighborhoods Different than in Poor Neighborhoods?

Is Drug Use in Rich Neighborhoods Different than in Poor Neighborhoods?

Hard drugs like heroin and cocaine are often the drugs of choice for poor neighborhoods

While drug abuse and addiction are universal problems that can affect any person in any area of the world, the way that people abuse drugs can differ depending on their demographic areas and economic status. Just as the finances of people in rich neighborhoods and poor neighborhoods in San Diego is drastically different, so too is the way that drugs are used and abused.

Ways Drug Use Differs Depending on Socioeconomic Status

People in poor neighborhoods are often born into a presence of substance abuse within their home or surrounding area. Individuals in poor neighborhoods often turn to drug abuse to cope with problems of deprivation and unemployment, while people in rich neighborhoods commonly abuse drugs to party and experience a fun high. Poor and rich neighborhoods often experience drug use and abuse in the following ways:

  • Hard drugs like heroin and cocaine are often the drugs of choice for poor neighborhoods. These drugs are commonly used in problematic ways that can lead to violence and criminal behavior. Rich neighborhoods more often abuse prescription pills, alcohol and marijuana.
  • The deprivation of poor neighborhoods is commonly linked to initial hard drug use at a younger age than normal. The young age of initial abuse is also linked to a higher level of dependence on the substance, utilizing injection methods of abuse, risky drug use, and increased health problems.
  • Poor neighborhoods typically have higher rates of problematic drug abuse opposed to recreational or casual drug use that middle class and rich neighborhoods experience.
  • Rich neighborhoods have easier access to treatment and can often undergo rehab in luxurious settings. Due to the deprivation of most people in poor neighborhoods, problematic drug abusers are less likely to receive proper treatment or medical care, which increases the likelihood of addiction and continued health problems.
  • Overcoming problematic drug abuse is unlikely due to the disadvantages poor neighborhoods and the common inability to afford and receive proper treatment. There are fewer alternatives to drug abuse and a lower rate of available and meaningful employment, which increases the likelihood of continued drug abuse. Poverty commonly prevents people in poor neighborhoods from moving to a more profitable area with better opportunities. People in rich neighborhoods have higher rates of abuse and addiction recovery.
  • Drug dealing can sometimes be an established way to earn money, which increases the amount of drug flow and personal abuse in poor neighborhoods. Drug abuse in rich neighborhoods is commonly a casual side activity resulting from an excess of funds.

The differences in childhood life, environment, finances, and opportunities between poor and rich neighborhoods are some of the most common reasons for differences in how drugs are used and abused.

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