The reason why Buddhism can be used to address social issues becomes apparent when you explore all the studies done by psychologists, like Carl Jung and neurologists who study the effect of Buddhism and meditation on the brain.
By studying the precepts of Buddhism, we also find the answer to many real life social issue and a practical way to solve dilemas.
In traditional Buddhist societies like Tibet and Nepal, where Buddhism really flows through every aspect of life, social issues encountered in the West are practily unknown.
Things like depression, are not really present in Tibet. Addictions exist but the nature of the addiction is often very different than in Occident and the proportion of people suffering is really low.
But in Occident, society brings its load of social issues. Buddhism can help relieve some with practical, easy to understand ways. Meditation is used in rehab, there is a Buddhist 12 steps program and many other solutions exist to address suffering.
Buddhism is also ready to face other social issues like abortion, stem cell research, euthanasia, etc.
What are your views on these social issues? Go to each subject to give your comments.