An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

The Poor Ghetto Communities and Drugs

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by suegiplaye, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. suegiplaye

    suegiplaye Member

    I grew up in poor communities all my life. I realized that every poor community I have lived in is plagued with drugs.I am just wondering why is drug use in poor communities so high? It seems like it is the cool thing to do. Many of my friends and family members have became drug addicts.
  2. ZXD22

    ZXD22 Senior Contributor

    I'm sorry to hear that suegiplaye. :( My guess for the use of drugs in poor communities is that since the families and such wouldn't have enough money to be entertained, they use the drugs to entertain themselves. In a way it makes sense right?
  3. JonnyMacdonald

    JonnyMacdonald Community Champion

    My thoughts on the subject are that drugs exist in most communities.
    The rich just pick different drugs (like prescriptions.)
    But also if you live in a poor community chances are you don't have access to the same resources as rich communities, so you are less likely to have big hopes and dreams and fall into drugs easier.
    Also I think that you are more likely to have trauma as a kid, many people turn to drugs to self medicate due to trauma.
    Finally drugs can be a way of making money if there are no good jobs, so a poor person might bring drugs into the community to try and sell.
    Whatever the cause, poor communities face so many challenges that other communities don't even know about. I would say just the frustration alone would have led me to alcohol and drugs for sure (a middle class life couldn't even keep me clean.)
    My church works in a lot of these communities. The strength of the people stuck in poverty are AMAZING. They work so hard and get are given so little by our society it's terrible. Some are lucky to catch a break and get out, but so many stick back work their bottoms off so that they can stay to take care of love ones.
  4. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    A feeling of being unable to fit in [call it social exclusion if you must] is one reason why many people in poor communities opt to use drugs. There know they are missing out on a lot, know their lives could be better but believe there's nothing they can do to change anything. To cope with this and other issues that stem directly from it they'll use drugs . . . to escape reality.
  5. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Rainman makes a good point about people in poor communities wanting to escape reality. That said, I think that @JonnyMacdonald is right: Drugs exist in most communities. Recent years have seen an upswing in heroin use, especially among wealthier suburban residents. People get hooked on Oxy, and when they're no longer able to get their pills they discover they can get the same high from heroin for less money. In my opinion, drugs are no longer just a problem for poor communities. They pose a problem for all of society: rich, poor, white, black, yellow, pink, purple, etc.
  6. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    When things are difficult on every level, sometimes to a point where you have no home, no one who cares for you, and there is no spark of light on the horizon, you will reach for drugs to escape into another reality. Also, often in poor neighborhoods education is low, and people just imitate what they see on TV, or they copy others who use drugs, because "that's just the way" it is. It becomes a kind of "culture". A drug culture.
    It's very common around here where I live. People rather focus on how to get money quickly through trafficking narcotics instead of contemplating an education.
    MrsJones likes this.
  7. 6up

    6up Community Champion

    Many poor people have opted to selling drugs thinking that they can better their lives. That is not an option since not all those who sell drugs are poor. Not all children from poor backgrounds and slum regions do use drugs. Drugs are used as a way of avoiding stress, which never works since many work all day just to get enough money for drugs. But lately there are programs to help addicts in poor areas.
  8. Zimbitt

    Zimbitt Senior Contributor

    Well because their lives are terrible and they want an escape, drugs are one of the easiest ways to do that. They usually don't have much money but they can just sell the drugs for that which starts the cycle all over again!
  9. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    I grew up in a pretty good community and there were always drugs readily available. I never touched it and had no interest in it but I know many of my friends did. Sadly, drugs exist in almost every community you live in.
  10. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Community Champion

    Well, I've lived around poor communities and most certainly agree with you. There is a high rate of substance abuse among poorer folks which is truly sad. The lack of work opportunities has a tendency to drive most folks into depression where they seek out an outlet. Therefore drug and alcohol abuse is so incredibly common among the poor. Also a lack of recreational activities in poorer suburbs to keep people busy is another issue to be taken into consideration.
  11. Auril

    Auril Active Contributor

    I live in one of those poor communities you describe and yes, drugs are a huge issue. But I'm seeing a troubling trend in the upscale areas half an hour away from here. Heroin is a huge problem with the richer teens and 20 something's in my city. It used to be thought of as only a ghetto drug, but now it's all over the news as to how it's killing white, rich high schoolers and college kids. They have the money to buy it and easy access. So it's not just the ghetto that has a drug problem anymore.
    deanokat likes this.
  12. suegiplaye

    suegiplaye Member

    I liked that some here who made a post admitted that drugs are in every community, just not poor ones. I am just starting to realize that. Some people just want a fast way to make money, and while they are selling drugs, they also get sucked into using drugs. But is that the best way out? It only leads to a criminal record and heartache.
  13. suegiplaye

    suegiplaye Member

    Yes, I noticed too that poor people have a lot of strength. They are very hard working and a lot of them do not involve themselves with drugs. I also do notice that richer people do overuse prescription drugs. And abusing prescription drugs can be as bad as being a drug addict.
  14. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    I suspect that the increased incidence of drug use in such communities can be attributed to social problems like poverty, unemployment, lack of recreational facilities and low community morale.
  15. norms options

    norms options Active Contributor

    I think there are several reasons why drug use is so prevalent in poor communities. To me the most obvious reason is that a lot of people in those communities are looking for an escape from reality. So many folks who are born and raised in poor communities often live there for their entire lives and drugs are an opportunity to forget about your daily worries. Also, I think a lot of dealers live in the poor communities which makes all different types of drugs more available, and causes many folks to use often enough to become addicted. This type of life is so difficult for people to get out of because so many people are doing it that it becomes normal.
  16. pineywood

    pineywood Community Champion

    I have been poor and I have been well-off. As others have stated, drugs are in every ethnic and economic area. What I did notice and maybe this is why some people may think drugs use is more prone in lower economic class neighborhoods, otherwise known as the ghetto, is because of accepted behaviors in different situations.

    For example, growing up, if the police were called to a neighbors house, we did not go outside. Maybe we discreetly peeked behind a curtain. I recall the first time, I witnessed the police responding to an inner city call. It seemed liked the whole neighborhood gathered outside, even the little children. Seriously I about had a heart attack.

    Same with drugs in an upscale neighborhood, I did not see people hanging around. I mean, we did not even hang out on our front porch. The front door was reserved for guests. On the other hand, in other neighborhoods it was acceptable or at least common to see someone haul out a couch or lazy-boy to their porch and hang out.

    So, I guess what I am saying is that I might see someone smoking a joint or trying to sell drugs in one area of town blatantly and a few blocks away the same thing is happening but more behind the scenes.
  17. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Same thing in here, mostly you can find addicts and even dealers in poor communities. I think that is one reason why they remained poor is because of the addiction. They spend more on drugs and they do not have constant or good jobs.
  18. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Isn't that a good question. I think there are many factors that attributing that. Mostly the drugs are already there. They exist in those kinds of communities so generationally they are carried down from one generation to another. A general low mentality is often amongst poor people so there is little ability to rise above it. When you stay inside the small box and follow along with majority they don't really know anything different. I also think if you know you are poor and you can't deal with it. Drugs might be a method of escape. One thing about people who are poor but don't accept the label. They are already thinking outside that small poor box. Therefore they are not in that world of the lower mentality in thinking that drugs are an answer for poverty. Perhaps one wouldn't be poor if they spent money on things that make sense.
    I think it all boils down to definition of poverty. If you are not smart enough to realize that drugs are not an answer wouldn't you be rich? Rich in intelligence. Money is not the only thing that defines living well or being rich. A rich life can be a steady happy life with moderate income. Happiness is worth it's weight in gold. There is no real happiness in drugs.
  19. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    I have seen it here in my island as well and I guess it's a universal issue. Unemployment and other hardships associated with these areas have been blamed on the prevalence of drugs and alcohol in these impoverished areas. I will also hasten to add that there are people coming out of these communities without falling victim to the snares of addiction. Adrianna spoke of a low "mentality" often being among poor people. I have known the converse to be true. I have seen brilliance emerge from many poor communities.
  20. Jasmine2015

    Jasmine2015 Community Champion

    I too have pretty much have lived on port communities all my life and still do. I guess when you are so poor and you can't seem to do something as simple as to afford a few luxury things in life, drugs become the luxury thing. It keeps your mind from thinking about all the problems you have in reality. But then once the drugs wear off, you are once again faced with the fact that you are poor. Being poor doesn't mean you are a bad person, but it does effect how you live