Substance abuse is a serious problem for millions of citizens in the United States, and throughout the world. Everyday, across the globe, individuals of different races, ethnicities, religions, cultures, and social classes struggle with the disease of drug addiction. Many people lay the blame for these problems on the individuals themselves, labeling them as criminals, deviants, or persons of weak moral character. Perhaps they even cite bad parenting, or other such factors. But what if the true source of the problem was greater? What if the problem lies not in the individual or their family at all, but in society as a whole? Or, rather, what if the problem lies in the individual’s lack of a connection to the rest of society? In this paper, I will attempt to apply Emile Durkheim’s theory of anomie and Karl Marx’s theory of alienation to the problem of substance abuse, using my own life experiences to illuminate the subject. [Buddie Osco is a pen name.]



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