The role of poverty on substance abuse

Lisa Herdman

Washburn University hosted group sessions to bring up important issues in the community, in correspondence with Topeka Community Conversation on Poverty, and included a group discussion on substance abuse and poverty.

Johnna Godinez, from Kansas Youth Empowerment Committee, led the group. She talked about the possible reasons people may get into drugs in impoverished communities and how to assist people getting help for their addiction.

Some of the factors that were brought up that contribute to more drug use in impoverished areas includes invdivduals being in an environment where others may already be using drugs, they cannot afford to drive to get the help they need, the cost of medication for mental illnesses is too high so people have resorted to self-medicating, and services and resources are scarce.