Recent Post

August 3, 2013

Essay on Substance Abuse

It is a generally acknowledged fact and reality all over the world that substance abuse is widely viewed and defined as the uncontrollable consumption of drugs despite the fact even if the adverse effects and the negative ramifications of the disease are known to a particular individual who is involved in this activity (Levine, 1979). 
From a scientific perspective substance abuse is treated as a disease that poses severe effects on the working of the human body and mind and awareness campaigns regarding the harmful effects of the dangerous addiction have been proactive at various levels through governmental, non-governmental and media awareness methods (Mcdonald,1994).
Even though substance abuse is apparently prohibited and its consumption is considered as a highly immoral act and a violation of the fundamental religious injunctions followed by the people of the society, the substantiated reality remains that there are a number of places where drugs are freely available in its different states. Many times there have been number of deaths reported of people who lost their lives after drinking either contaminated or toxic raw form of liquor, but no concrete steps to curb its supply and production have been taken.
Substance abuse is closely related with alcohol drinking, as alcohol is also a drug that is a depressant. However, if a someone takes amphetamine for example which is a drug, before going out to drink, the stimulants in this drug makes the person drinks more alcohol. However, the most popular drug used by people nowadays is marijuana most commonly known as “pot” or “weed” (Allen).

Reasons for drugs addiction
In general, people who lack a basic level of material wealth are more likely to engage in drugs addiction. Adverse economic forces may leave individuals feeling powerless, and thus less likely or able to take responsibility for their actions, and such irresponsibility may well contribute to drugs and alcohol addiction.
Poverty based on an ascribed status, such as race, will generate a sense of injustice and discontent, and a feeling that such proclaimed values of society as equal opportunities for all are not realized in actual experience (Blau & Schwartz, 1984). The resulting weakening of social bonds can free people from mainstream norms, opening the way to deviance and addiction help explain why residents of such localities lash out at police, teachers and parents.
One disorganizing factor, residential mobility, interferes with the development of extensive, local friendship networks. In addition, racial and ethnic heterogeneity breed fear, mistrust, defensiveness, and community segmentation – all barriers to the cohesion required for social control. Furthermore, high levels of family disruption decrease neighborhood supervision and guardianship of children and of household property, in such cases juveniles become the easy victim of drugs addiction.
Berglas and Jones described that drug addicts are usually the victim of self handicapping. By handicapping themselves, these men set up a convenient excuse for failure (Kolditz & Arkin, 1982). Drugs drain the self-confidence from the personality of the drug addicts and thus lost their motivation due to their self handicapping.
            Such persons also feel emotional isolation. In social isolation, a person feels deprived of a network of friends or relatives; in emotional isolation, a person feels deprived of a single, intense relationship. These two kinds of loneliness share a common emotional core, and there is some debate about how clearly they can be distinguished (Russell et al., 1984). Either one can be momentary or a long-lasting characteristic of the individual.
            Emotional Isolation often strikes the drugs addicts at the same time as social anxiety and depression. Like social anxiety, emotional isolation and depression are characterized by the deliberating pattern of social interaction.

Treatment of substance abuse: Motivational Interview

            It is a common experience that drugs addicts do not have motivation, energy and drive for anything. Drugs addicts are mentally and physically dependent on it and thus deprived themselves from the petty pleasures of life which intrinsically motivated a person.
Motivational interview is a technique to change or strengthen a person’s desire to change his or her behavior by stressing on factors like reasoning and desire. Most of the researchers concluded that substance abuse is a psychological and personality disorder (Weegmann, 2002) which can be treated by treating this disorder.
Focusing on the self can be induced by various kinds of external situations such as mirrors, cameras, and audiences. Mood, too, can induce it. Research indicates that, compared with a neutral mood state, both positive and negative moods increase awareness of the self. Thus, when a stressful event occurs, the negative feelings that arise magnify self-focus. What happens next depends on a person’s view of self. Individuals with negative self-concept experience more negative moods when self-focused than do those with a positive self-concept. The end result is a self-perpetuating feedback loop: Negative mood increases self-focus, which among those with a negative self-concept increases negative self-concept increases negative mood even further.
            One reason may be that depressed, self-focused individuals don’t feel capable of engaging in distracting activities. Unfortunately, even those who do escape often jump from the frying pan straight into the fire; drugs addiction is also one of the people’s attempts to avoid an uncomfortable state of self-awareness.
As far as the treatment of substance abuse is concerned, research has proved that motivational interviewing is one of the most effective treatment methods of this disorder (Tevyaw & Monti, 2004). Adolescents are usually considered at much higher risk of substance abuse, because of their distance from family (Monti & Tevyaw, 2004). For such individuals, brief motivational interviews at health centers, college counseling and emergency departments would provide higher satisfaction rate and the success rate of this much higher than any other treatment (Schneider, Case & Kohn, 2000).
One study showed the effects of brief motivational interview on alcoholic college students. According to that study motivational interview decreases the rate of self-reported alcohol consumption (Monti & Tevyaw, 2004).  Another study depicted that those adolescents who were going through a session of motivational interview, have shown a significant lower rate of drugs consumption and indulging into other related problems (Tevyaw & Monti, 2004).
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Cognitive behavior therapy is usually used to treat different cognitive behavior disorders as well as alcohol and drug abuse. It is a short term process of system abuse treatment which is considered a valuable therapy for the alcoholism and drug addiction. It helps drug addicts help in abstaining their dependence using the same processes that they initially developed to become drug dependant.  According to this therapeutic technique, people are stimulated to use drug through their own behavior and feelings instead of any external cause such as people, events or situations. People are not always able to change their circumstances but they can always change their thought process and patterns. This very idea helps cognitive theory practitioners in motivating people to easily give up their dependence on drug.
Solution focused brief therapy (SFBT), usually referred to as simply 'solution focused therapy' or 'brief therapy', is a talking therapy that focuses on social constructionist philosophy. It is based on the idea whether what clients want to gain through therapy rather than on the problem(s) that compel them to need help.
The approach focuses on the present and future instead of past. The therapist/counselor makes the client envision his/her desirable future out of curiosity and then get to know about the small or larger changes that a client wishes to bring about.  Building on the same, they ask questions about client’s strengths, resources, expectations regarding the problem.
The practitioners of this kind of therapy believe that change is constant therefore their help may help their clients identify the things they wish to change in their respective lives. SFBT therapists facilitate their clients in building a clear vision of a preferred future they want to look forward to.
    Thus, the discussion has proved that motivational interview is an effective way of treatment of substance abuse. This method is especially effective in treating the substance abuse problems of adolescents.
Allen, Jenifer. The Effects of Substance Abuse on Career College Students. Retrieved on 11th 
December 2010 from

Blau, Peter & Schwartz, Joseph (1984). Crosscutting Social Circles. Orlando, Fla.: Academic


Kolditz, T. A. & Arkin, R. M. (1982). An impression management interpretation of the
self-handicapping strategy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 43, 492- 502.

Levine, Harry (1979). The Discovery of Addiction: Changing Conceptions of Habitual
Drunkenness in America. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 15: 493-506

Mcdonald, Maryon (1994). Gender, Drink and Drugs. Oxford, Providence: Berg

Monti, P., Tevyaw, T.O., Borsari, B. (2004). Drinking Among Young Adults. Alcohol Research
and Health, 28, 4, 236-244

Schneider, R. J., Casey, J., Kohn, R. (2000). Motivational versus Confrontational Interviewing:
A Comparison of Substance Abuse Assessment Practices at Employee Assistance Programs. The Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, 27, 1, 60-74

Tevyaw, T.O. and Monti, P. (2004). Motivational Enhancement and Other Brief Interventions for
Adolescent Substance Abuse: Foundations, Applications, and Evaluations. Addiction, 99, 63-75

Weegmann, M. (2002). Motivational Interviewing and Addiction: A Psychodynamic

Appreciation. Psychodynamic Practice, 8, 2, 179-195


Post a Comment