Stimulant abuse across the country is a major problem, but this is especially true in rural environments. Methamphetamines, cocaine, and crack cocaine are all popular drugs that are used by urban and rural people alike. There are several facts about stimulant abuse in rural areas that people should know about because they are somewhat surprising in light of conventional wisdom.
Education Does Not Necessarily Prevent Stimulant Abuse
Conventional wisdom says that educating people about the effects of drug abuse will decrease the instances of drug abuse because people will not want to take such risks when they know the consequences. This is often true of drugs in general, but it is not true of stimulant abuse—especially in rural areas. Studies have discovered that teaching people about the dangers of meth, cocaine, and others have not actually lowered the instances of stimulant abuse in rural areas. Educating people about the risks and negative effects of stimulant abuse is still a worthwhile endeavor, but it may not be enough in and of itself to stem the tide of stimulant abuse. After all, people abuse stimulants for a variety of reasons, and simply knowing that abusing drugs is harmful is not necessarily going to be enough motivation to stop.
Having a Family Does Not Necessarily Prevent Stimulant Abuse
Some people might think that being responsible for a family would curb stimulant abuse, but that is not so. While some young, single adults in rural and urban areas abuse stimulants, many of the people who struggle with stimulant abuse are actually married people with children. Just because someone is married with a family does not mean that that person does not abuse stimulants; such an assumption could be wrong and even damaging if holding it prevents someone from getting help. This is especially true in rural environments, where married people with children are more likely to abuse stimulants than their urban counterparts. In fact, the responsibility of providing for a family in a rural environment that does not offer the same employment opportunities of an urban environment can increase a person’s desire to abuse stimulants.
Unemployment in Rural Areas Is Crippling in Terms of Stimulant Abuse
Studies show that rural people who are unemployed are seven times more likely to abuse stimulants than their unemployed urban counterparts. Unemployment often plays a fairly large part in terms of drug abuse across all categories and age groups, but it particularly hits hard in rural areas that often do not have much in the way of employment or career advancement opportunities. People sometimes turn to illicit drugs as a result of the lack of opportunity, with stimulants being quite popular. Unemployed rural people of all working ages are more likely to abuse stimulants than urban people, so providing serious job opportunities for people in rural areas would be one effective way of combating stimulant abuse in rural areas.
Stimulant abuse is serious and dangerous regardless of whether a person lives in a city or in the country. Anyone who abuses stimulants or who knows someone who abuses stimulants should seek help from Hotline or Helpline. For more information about combating rural or urban drug abuse, please call 800-447-9081 for more information.