How Does Heroin Impact a Caucasian Family Essay

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Heroin Impact on Caucasian Family?

A large number of Caucasian families are plagued with the issue of heroin use, mostly consumed via injections. This is a major public health issue. Viral hepatitis, HIV and other dangers associated with heroin dependence, as well as social harm resulting from accompanying poverty and crime, exceed those of almost all other drugs used. A majority of Caucasian households are indirectly as well as directly impacted by the aforementioned diseases.

Increased pureness and decreased drug costs are potential factors contributing to the trend of decreased age of first-time consumption and increased initiation into habitual consumption in the Caucasian population. As heroin dependence can be successfully cured, primary care providers need to check their patients for this problem.

This paper serves two purposes. Firstly, it attempts to study substance abuse's socio-economic effects on Caucasian people. Secondly, depending on this analysis, it attempts to provide recommendations on how drug dependence control-related issues may be dealt with productively and cooperatively.

Health issues mainly impact the addict and have only a secondary impact on society (in the form of increased healthcare costs and other consequences). However, the relationship between drug abuse and related practices (e.g., AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases' (STDs) transmission, needle-sharing, etc.) is more apparent, and this impacts the overall society. Addicts who consume drugs via injection make up 22% of the global AID/HIV population. This consequently implies that a rather large share of the Caucasian population is impacted.

A large body of chiefly-qualitative literature exists on the impact of the rapid modern technological, economic, and social changes on Caucasian households and communities. Although numerous linkages exist between this literature's findings and issues linked to drug abuse, investigating these linkages lies beyond the scope of this research.


Bayer introduced the opiate drug (obtained from Papaver Somniferum (opium poppy)) -- heroin -- to the world in the year 1895, to serve as a cough depressant. In the present day, heroin consumption, particularly via injections, constitutes a major health issue in Caucasian households. Threats linked to heroin dependence go beyond those linked to almost all other drugs. Dependence on opioids is an enduring relapse condition marked by regular opioid self-administration, in spite of its destructive consequences.

The World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10): Classification of Mental and Behavioral Disorders and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) provides the most comprehensive conditions for diagnosis of opioid reliance. Addiction has been defined by the WHO as a collection of cognitive, physiological, and behavioral situations in which drug intake (of one or more drugs) is given greater priority by a user, over other behaviors he/she prioritized earlier (Brown, 2004).

Typically, Caucasian households greatly influence children's attitudes, behaviors, and values. However, one needs to answer the question of how family values compare with peers in case a youngster's peer group engages in drug abuse. Peer group influence, which is normally stronger during youth, can sometimes surpass family influence.

One researcher found that the most common characteristic among Caucasian peer groups is their consumption of bhang. Parental and peer influence was found to be collaborative. The highest Caucasian marijuana consumption cases were adolescents whose friends and parents themselves abused drugs.

Efforts towards preventing drug complications may make use of background facts on the families of Caucasian drug abusers to tackle their social and personal concerns. In this respect, it is imperative that one doesn't hold the assumption that, in all cases, parents are responsible for their children's problems or that drug abusers are to blame for their families' problems (United Nations Drug Control Programme, 1995).

A vast, largely-qualitative literature pool exists on the impact of rapidly-evolving, modern-age social, technological, and economic situations on Caucasian households and communities. Most problems relevant to the relationship between Caucasian households and drug abuse have been summed up in a couple of papers, put together by the WHO (World Health Organization) and the UNDCP. The discussion that follows simply offers some hints for additional study (UN Drug Control Programme (UNDCP)).

Impact of Heroin Use on Family and Community

Caucasian heroin consumers' prevalent stereotypic image is undergoing a change. A recent research work, published in the monthly medical journal 'JAMA Psychiatry', reveals that nine out of ten heroin addicts are White, with three-quarters of them residing outside cities. Further, this research found a relationship between increased heroin abuse and medical opioid misuse.

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75.2% of the nearly 2,800 heroin addicts studied were introduced to opioids via prescription drugs. Another finding of this study was that, besides the 'high' experienced through its consumption, Caucasians mostly used heroin because of its easy availability and low price compared to that of prescription opioids.

With rising costs of prescription drugs and increasing difficulty experienced in trying to crush pills (and, hence, in trying to snort, chew or inject them), the share of Caucasian heroin abusers has increased. A majority of Caucasian abusers of prescription drugs have consequently started abusing the more harmful drug -- heroin (Barbara Tasch, 2014).

Although, under certain circumstances, Caucasian households may be the source of substance abuse issues, they may also play a vital role in ensuring successful treatment of the addict. Caucasian communities are increasingly accepting family therapy; more Caucasian families are now subscribing to the enrolment of two or more family members in joint counseling as well as therapy sessions.

Caucasian families are mostly patriarchal, with a large number of Caucasian households being physically and emotionally sustained by females. A majority of substance abusers may be emotionally attached to their mother figures and mothers. Hence, the recognition and successful involvement of Caucasian mothers (and other influential women in the family) as key resources for the treatment and prevention of drug abuse is crucial.

A Caucasian male drug addict can negatively impact his non-drug dependent spouse's life by subjecting her to a strained interpersonal relationship, physical abuse, child abuse, emotional instability, economic insecurity, increased risks of contracting STDs, and denial of child education (United Nations Drug Control Programme, 1995).

Physiological and Psychological Factors

It is a well-known fact that drug abuse by a family member impacts the rest of the family (including kids) both directly and indirectly. While the chief focus is on how a conducive atmosphere for children's upbringing is damaged by a substance-abusing guardian or parent, some scholars are exploring drug abuse's effect on parenting, despite an apparently insignificant influence observed on Caucasian parenting.

The primary concern of the media and the public is Caucasian kids who are brought up in the homes of drug-abusing parents. Although they emphasize practical care delivery and child protection issues, relatively little emphasis has been placed on the interpersonal facets of nurturing (for instance, parental drug dependence's effects on family development and on such parents' relationship with their kids). Substance abuse has been associated with child-raising elements as well, including the elements of discipline, parental engagement, and receptiveness.

Kandel discovered that the parenting quality of modern-day Caucasian mothers has diminished with increased drug use. Additionally, drug dependence is linked to reduced child supervision, more aloofness from kids, and severer disciplinary measures. Doherty and Bauman's research revealed that, compared to Caucasian mothers who have no connection with drugs, methadone-dependent mothers asserted more power with their kids and exhibited more exasperating, imposing, and condemnatory behavior.

But the aforementioned findings are unclear. They indicate that drug consumption by itself does not constitute a significant factor in ineffective parenting in Caucasian households. Bernstein, for example, discovered that mothers' psychosocial resources and emotional health were better predictors of how superior their interactions would be with their babies, compared to their drug-consumption status. Meanwhile Johnson's investigation revealed that the level of substance use by mothers had no connection with their responsiveness to their kids (Diane M. Hogan, 2007).

Substance-abusing Caucasian parents depicted a greater tendency to express dissatisfaction with their emotional as well as physical availability to their kids, and discontent with the strength and quality of the environment they provide to their growing children, as compared to non-substance-abusing Caucasian parents.

A total of three descriptive categories have been identified, which link parenting style and drug abuse in the Caucasian community, namely, lifestyle/circumstantial, psychological, and physiological/functional factors. Lifestyle factors include factors associated with drug acquisition and consumption, hospitalization and admittance to treatment facilities, and incarceration on drugs-related grounds, all of which are triggered by the consequences of parental ability and emotional influence. Psychological factors involve factors impacting unstable moods, immense interest in or addiction to drugs, and other such aspects, and their impact on Caucasian parenting components, like limit-setting and disciplining. Functional factors deal with drug-withdrawal and inebriation's effects on parenting and, specifically,….....

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Barbara Tasch. (2014, May 29). Study: U.S. Heroin Users Are Mostly White Suburbanites. TIME.

Brown, R. (2004). Heroin Dependence. WISCONSIN MEDICAL JOURNAL, 20-27.

Danielle M. Dick, & Arpana Agrawal. (2008). The Genetics of Alcohol and Other Drug Dependence. Alcohol Research and Health, 111-118.

Diane M. Hogan. (2007). The impact of opiate dependence on parenting processes: Contextual, physiological and psychological factors. Addiction Research & Theory, 617-635.


Jennifer Van Pelt. (2012, October). Pain Care Advocacy in an Era of Opioid Abuse. Social Work Today, p. 16.

Philippe Bourgois, Dan Ciccarone, Jeff Schonberg, Brian R. Edlin, Alex Kral, & Alexis Martinez. (2006). Reinterpreting Ethnic Patterns among White and African-American Men Who Inject Heroin: A Social Science of Medicine Approach. PLOS Medicine.

Ronit Horowitz, Moshe Kotler, 2 Emi Shufman, Shahar Aharoni, Ilana Kremer, Hagit Cohen, & Richard P. Ebstein. (2000). Confirmation of an Excess of the High Enzyme Activity COMT val Allele in Heroin Addicts in a Family-Based Haplotype Relative Risk Study. American Journal of Medical Genetics (Neuropsychiatric Genetics), 599-603.

UN Drug Control Programme (UNDCP). (n.d.). Economic and Social Consequences of Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. (pp. 1-60). Vienna: Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

United Nations Drug Control Programme. (1995). The Social Impact of Drug Abuse. World Summit for Social Development, (pp. 1-47). Copenhagen.

Vanessa Hemovich, & William D. Crano. (2009). Family Structure and Adolescent Drug Use: An Exploration of Single-Parent Families. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2099-2113.

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