Social Problems A UK case Study

Social problems have been prevalent in peoples lives for as long as humanity has existed. In recent times, these problems have continued to choke the world and the fight to bring back sanity has continued relentlessly. Social problems have been brought about by many factors among them intense greed, poverty, jealousy, anger, fear, pride and revenge among others. Some of these social problems include crime and drug abuse.

1. Crime
The United Kingdom ranks highly in the world in issues that relate to criminal activities. A lot of violent crime has been reported all over Europe. These rankings are considered the highest ever in the world. With time, violent crimes that involve murders, sexual offences, robberies and assaults have increased. This has made the United Kingdoms security appear wanting. When compared to countries like Australia, America, South Africa and even Canada, Europe still topped the chats. The blame has been laid squarely on the government for its apparent failure in fighting crime as it happens. A research carried out in 2007 showed that the United Kingdom registered the highest number of murders. Robbery crimes ranked it fifth in Europe. Burglaries have also found a home in the United Kingdom and they also recorded a high number. Statistics show that 10 crimes happen in every one minute this is up to 5.4 million crimes which were reported to the authorities in 2007. This great failure has been attributed to the recycling of strategies to fight crime that have failed in the past. This has necessitated a change of plan which has been long overdue (Edwards, 2009).

Factors that have led to increased crime

Alcohol abuse
Many people in the United Kingdom have a record of drinking alcohol on a 24 hour basis. This has been established to be the major cause of crime. People have been murdered or even maimed in street fights whose perpetrators have been known to be drunkards. Drunken driving is also a vice that has claimed many lives through fatal accidents that involve crashes and hit and run situations. Hospitals in the United Kingdom have recorded high numbers of casualties who have been brought in as a result of being assaulted in brawls. Some of them have been bitten, hit, scratched or even kicked thus necessitating medical attention. (Edwards, 2009).

Fake Identity Cards
Many crime perpetrators in the United Kingdom have often used fake identifications in a bid to cover up for the crimes they commit. These crimes include alcohol abuse which is common among the youth. They use fake IDs to prove that they are over 18 years. Criminals have also used other people identity cards to conceal their own as they go about their vices. (Home Office, 2009).

Material gain
Many people in the United Kingdom will engage in crime in an effort to become rich. They do not see themselves leading a better life unless they get involved in robberies and burglaries. Other crimes which they will find themselves in include auto and white collar thefts. These people will take their time to plan these crimes and hit when least expected. The ugly thing about crime is that one successful crime calls for another and this becomes a habit. (Home Office, 2009).

Desire for power
Some people are obsessed with this strong desire of being in control and thus commit crimes to gain it. These people seek to suppress their victims and that is why they result to killing, raping and assaulting among others. By doing so, they feel on top of their game though not for long. Many of these crimes happen in a rage and are thus not planned. The perpetrators thus lead a life of guilt and regret after the harm has already been done (Home Office, 2009).
Initiatives towards crime reduction

Alcohol abuse
Most young people are known to be irresponsible drinkers and the United Kingdom government has embarked on putting a stop to this vice. With many crimes being known to result from alcohol abuse, young people as well as adults have been advised to drink responsibly. Strong measures that curb the drinking by young people in public places have been put into place. Measures to ensure that young people do not possess alcohol in public places have also been effected. A tiered law that curbs the same in three phases has been introduced in the Policing and Crime Act of 2009, Section 30. It states that people under the age of 18 must not be caught with alcohol repeatedly. The defaulter faces a fine of up to 500 UK pounds (Home Office, 2010).

The United Kingdom government has put down measures to ensure that all its citizens are well equipped when it comes to crime. It ensures that its people are trained on how to handle this antisocial behaviour. The government is working hard to ensure that people have tools to use against this vice. It is also sensitizing the people on how to prevent crimes from being perpetrated. Offenders that are known to the residents of a place have been handed over to the authorities. Most of these offenders are known jailbirds who are arrested every now and then. This measure has been activated in areas that are prone to crime activities and this has led to a decline in the vices (Home Office, 2010).

Advisors for the sexually abused
Many crimes in the United Kingdom revolve around abuse and sexual violence. To curb this crime, the government has put up advisors in the regions whose work involves counselling the sexually abused and urging them to report this vice once it happens. The advisory body is independent and is funded by the government to ensure that the victims are supported fully (Home Office, 2010).

Tough laws on use of fake IDs
The United Kingdoms government has passed strict laws on the instance where people use others ID cards. The punishment for the defaulters is confiscation of the ID as well as prosecution according to the law in the Fraud Act of 2006, section 2. This is geared at reducing the numbers of underage drinkers and other criminals (Home Office, 2010).

2. Drug Abuse
Drug abuse is the use of drugs for a non therapeutic effect. It also involves the use of illegitimate drugs as well as those that are prescribed but for other purposes that are not medical. (Health Scope, 2010).
Drug abuse in the United Kingdom is prevalent with statistics showing that up to a third of its population have abused drugs. This translates to about 11 million people. The rest who are up to 4 million have admitted to having used the drugs in the previous year. The most abused drugs include alcohol, cocaine and heroin. Cocaine, popularly known as coke is however widely in use by many people who cite its easy availability. Drug misuse has its roots in the United Kingdom which is rated first in Europe. However, drug use has gone low over the years and there have been no increase in the figure of those abusing them. The ages between which people have attested to drug use are between 16 and 59 (BBC News, 2005).

Drugs are classified in four main groups. These include
Depressants are used to cause the nervous system to slow down. Examples of depressants include tranquillizers, alcohol and barbiturates. These drugs are also used as sedatives or sleeping pills in the normal setting by medical practitioners. Excessive partaking of these drugs leads to their abuse. These drugs are mainly used by anxious people to calm them down. The effects of overuse of these drugs include addiction which could lead to death and unconsciousness. Withdrawal from these drugs may cause insomnia, restlessness, convulsions, anxiety and eventual death (Cyswllt Contact, 2010).

These are drugs that are taken by people to increase physical activity and alertness. They stimulate the nervous system. They include Cocaine, amphetamines, inhalants, crack as well as caffeine found in soft drinks, coffee and tea. These drugs are mainly in the powder, capsule or pill form and they make the user have dilated blood vessels, high adrenaline levels and affect the body and brains normal performances. This results into speedy thinking which is characterized by clarity as well as high physical energy. Caffeine on the other hand will keep a person awake. Many people abuse it unconsciously as soft drinks such as tea and coffee often appear harmless. Caffeine abuse leads to headaches and anxiety and hinders one from falling asleep easily (Cyswllt Contact, 2010).

These are also referred to as psychedelics and their main effect in the body is perception. They alter peoples response to smell, sight, touch and sound among others. They affect a persons self awareness and how they think. These drugs include ecstasy, psilocybin, MDA and LSD. They are available in tablet form, capsule or liquid. People taking these drugs will feel relaxed and distance and colour will appear distorted to their eyes. Extreme use of these drugs will lead to anxiety, fear and psychosis (Cyswllt Contact, 2010).

These are substances that are used by people to reduce pain. These include paracetamol and aspirin. There are other painkillers that are more powerful such as opium, heroin, morphine and codeine which come in the form of liquids, powders and tablets. Abuse of these drugs leads to eventual death with methadone been blamed for many deaths in the United Kingdom. Administration of many of these drugs involves injections of the powder and this leads to blocked veins which may result into stroke and gangrene. Though these drugs give the user relaxation, negative effects like vomiting, restlessness and nausea may be experienced as well (Cyswllt Contact, 2010).

Why do people abuse drugs
Peer pressure is the leading reason as to why young people abuse drugs. They have a great urge to conform to what their friends are doing in an effort to fit into a certain social group. Other people seek healing from lifes issues such as stress, depression and ailments and thus result to self medicating. They feel that they are treating their condition. Escape is another reason as to why people abuse drugs. They do so to run away from the problems that are engulfing their lives. Other drug abusers do so just for pleasure. They enjoy the good feeling that comes with these drugs. They give them an effect of ecstasy and this takes them to a world of pleasure where nothing matters. Drugs will be used by others in an effort to boost their confidence in cases of anxiety and low esteem. Drugs are very addictive especially when their consumption becomes habitual. Many people will consume them in order to conquer the withdrawal symptoms they will be experiencing every time they do not consume these drugs. Drugs heighten peoples  energy levels and they will thus continue their use to feel more energetic and up to the tasks they maybe performing. Children who grow up in homes where their parents are constant drug abusers can inherit the vice. Uncontrolled medication for any ailment may also build a firm base for drug abuse as people will learn to result into drugs for any ill feeling (Zurko, 2010).

Effects of drug abuse
All these drugs have common effects on their users. These effects include lack of self control leading to crimes such as rape, murder and assault. Many crimes in the United Kingdom are related to drug abuse. Impaired judgment due to problems in the bodys normal functions leads people to commit crimes and even cause accidents. Emotional breakdown is another effect of drug abuse whereby its users become overwhelmed at a point and succumb to this effect. Hyperactivity or lack of it characterizes drug abuse with those who consume drugs becoming hyperactive. This condition at times occurs in the negative and results to a state of low morale of the individual. Vital organs in the body such as the brain, the heart, liver and pancreas are damaged due to constant drug abuse. This slows down the individual and makes them unproductive since they would become bedridden. Over reliance on these drugs results in addiction which takes time to get out of the system thus causing the body more harm. The final effect of drug abuse is death. This results from the various health conditions that a drug addict will suffer from continuous drug abuse. Prevention is better than cure and everyone should take a personal responsibility of curbing drug abuse (Helpguide, 2010).


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