(1) In this age of frustration and anxiety an exceeding number of people, especially the youth, are falling prey to substance abuse to find an escape way from their social and domestic responsibilities, to relieve panic experiences, or just to realize the euphoria pictured in popular media productions. Effective rehabilitative intervention focuses on the identified risk factor of undesired indulgence and the identified factors help to formulate drug regulatory regimes also. An extensive amount of research and many studies have established and then distinguish the factors which have a direct bearing upon the acquisition of addictive behavior. Recognized causation and the risk factors responsible for the drug or alcohol abuse appear somewhat entangled with the general causes of anxiety, paranoia, stress and other like psychological conditions. Generic causes of drug addiction are, but not limited to, domestic problems, mental makeup, sociological pressures and peer influence. Genetic disposition, gender roles, personality makeup, mental health, family oriented risks, traumatic events, socio-economics compulsions, bad peer influence, anti-social attitudes, and macro-environmental factors are some of the major risk factors which may induce a person with weak will-power to fall into the slippery slope of substance abuse. The fact that obfuscates the study of causes is that researchers have found that some of these factors come out as outcomes of a persistent drug abuse as well. Furthermore, risk factors, their intensity, influence, and their potential to trigger the habit also varies on a person to person and case to case basis. To outline the precise etiology of drug addiction is not an easy task as there is a need to distinguish associated variables which precede, follow or coexist with the habit.
Use Vs Abuse:
(2) Initial drug use and drug addiction are two of the different problem areas for researchers who tax their nerves to discern both of these conditions under different heads. Stein and colleagues highlighted, in a study of drug abuse on students, that drug use and abuse, i.e. problematic use, are determined varyingly (Stein J, 1987). Gorsuch observed that most of the first users do not develop a permanent addiction (Gorsuch, 1980). This finding is suggestive of the fact that risk factor for each stage has to be a unique one. Primarily it is possible that social factors impelled a person to use drugs, but later on, he or she found refuge in self-medication to relieve emotional distress — an offshoot of psychological underpinnings. Both use and abuse of a drug have a lot to do with the level of knowledge and awareness a user have to the nature of the substance, its physical hazards, psychological issues and social implications (Shor, 2012). Adults are more likely to abuse cannabis or other similar drugs if the use is harmless in their belief. Under this line of thinking, early rehabilitative methods focused on imparting a better knowledge base to the abusers and keep them abreast of the perils and the deathtraps they are going to suffer soon. Little commitment or, for that matter, competency in education has also been associated with deviant behaviors. These and other related academic concerns like absenteeism, poor performance and suspension from the classes further worsen the chances of a child to attain a better social status. The resulting sense of deprivation, uselessness, and self-denial leads such children to resort to the ecstasies of drugs in their endeavor ascribe a self-assumed importance to themselves.
Genetic Factors and Role of Gender: A complicated mix
(3) Apparently, biological factors may have no direct relation with a tendency of drug or alcohol abuse, but researchers have brought forward the fact that genetic factors lead a person from normal use to the level of abuse and, hence, to the addiction (Gwinnell et al, 2008). Genetic factors are responsible for the alcoholism both in men and women in addition to the environmental conditions. This shared environment of family members could exert significant influence and increase the risk of alcoholism. In this assertion of the environmental of factors, a child reared by an alcoholic parent has a heightened proclivity of becoming an abuser as the genetic makeup may be a critical element in the development of alcoholism. It may also be possible that certain gene is overpowering a person to get alcoholic, but this has not been proved by scientific evidence as yet. It has been observed that men start drinking alcohol at an earlier age as compare to that of women, and they are also heavy drinkers in relation to the ratio of women. Underlying factors behind this phenomenon may be that the males usually have more outward exposure and their adventurous nature may have been responsible for their earlier adoption of the nefarious addiction. A Survey conducted in Sydney explored that males were heavy drinkers and four times more likely to use other substances like cannabis (DuBreuil, 2017). It is also understandable that men are more prone to detrimental effects of sociological pressures and some of them, overawed by the dejection and despair, may fall into extreme drug abuse. Grieved by workplace distress and job-related afflictions, both of the genders might reach to a breaking point of their emotional health, and bad peers influences may land them towards excessive addiction.
Personality traits and attitudes determine addiction propensities.
(4) Personal likening, leanings, and preferences give rise to idiosyncratic attitudes which may get potent enough to coalesce a person into the adoption of dangerous behaviors. According to the proponents of Control Theory, lack of adequate social relations and group ties accentuate into deviance in adolescents. Estrangement from the prevailing social fabric and dissension from the values of society have a close connection with the drug abuse. Rebellious tendencies, resistance to traditional authority, approval of deviant behaviors and norm less-ness are some of the attitude-related risk factors associated with excessive substance abuse. Social alienation is one of the prime factors that contributes extensively in the physical and emotional health disorders. Alienation defines a person’s relationship with the societal framework by highlighting the measure of isolation and seclusion he or she has acquired knowingly or unknowingly. Societal factors cause alienation and as a response adolescents tend to accustom themselves with subcultures according to their mental and psychological tendencies. Aversive and materialistic societies provide lesser harmony to their members who find themselves on the outskirts and consequently they seek solace in the highs of substance abuse as an emotional reaction (Lessa, 2008). Dangers of alienation can be avoided through public engagement opportunities, community services, and productive lifestyles. Contrary to the mechanized society, social setup which relies more on human element may impart a greater sense of assimilation to the volatile youth and fortify harmonized and productive lifestyles. These personality traits are attached not only with the drug abuse but also with other problematic behaviors.
Do the Family may induce addictive behavior?
(5) The institution of the family is the Single most influential childhood factors which shape, model, refine, and finalize adaptations of a child for the rest of his life. Many researchers have acknowledged the overarching impact of familial conditions on habit formation of a person. Accurate assessment of familial influences on drug addiction is a complex phenomenon and is not easy to quantify. The coherence and the consistency of family management, scale, and warmth of communication and parenting styles have been invariably predicted as factors which determine the attitudes and habits of the family members. Ineffective management tactics, negativity in communication such as blaming and unwarranted criticism, weak or negative Inter-family relationships with a lack of affection or interest, and child abuse are some of the pitfalls which contribute to words the children, even the adults, seeking refuge in addictions and exposing themselves to more hazardous relationship standards.
The most exacerbating impact on children comes from the parental role modeling. Children, whose parents have anti-social or criminal leanings, are more prone in their adulthood to adapt adverse habits readily. Parental drug abuse tarnishes the conducive environment of the family and hampers family dynamics which, in its part, increases the possibilities of child abuse and maltreatment (Ponder et al, 2010). Role modeling and other family related risk factors work jointly and exert both direct and indirect effects upon a young one’s life and his risks of drug abuse. Single parent households are more prone to the risk factors for substance abuse. It is a recognized rehabilitative practice for clinicians to take into consideration the family needs in an adolescent treatment venture. If family fissures appear as contributing factors to victim’s drug usage, he is more likely to relapse into the habit soon after his return to the same in-group. On the other hand, the institution of family can also prove as one of the most effective protective shields against the relapse and can support the treatment decisively. It is the attitude and preoccupation of the family members that determines the actual contribution of the household i.e. protective or destructive. Additionally, apart from the parental influences, siblings, cousins, uncles, and even grandparents or significant others may also have a place to bear the blame for the drug abuse of a particular member. Family experience, family exposure, and overall relational system may affect the etiological implications of substance abuse to a great deal.
Traumatic experiences or a chronic mental illness may lead towards addiction.
(6) Adolescents who have had exposure with any of the traumatic incidents during their lives are at far greater risk of drug abuse, illicit behavior, and self-destructive or suicidal tendencies. Developmental Damage Model highlighted the adverse impacts of physical abuse on children who nourish an abnormally depreciative self-image of themselves. Such a negative self-image hampers subsequent socialization, and resultantly such children find this world as unsafe and aversive to them. Tormented by the emotional pain, children lurk into using drugs or become alcoholics and proceed further towards self-derogation. Treatment of trauma with drugs is another problem for the therapists who complain drop out of patients on account of their overbearing fear of re-experiencing the trauma, mistrust of others, hopelessness about the world and their lives. Such patients have also been seen as acquiring dependence disorder under their dormant urge to revitalize their persona against the odds of the world (Cimino, 2015). Even under treatment, either for traumatic stress disorder or dependence disorder, traumatized patients are less likely to cooperate with the caregiver. Underlying stressors must be addressed accordingly to materialize benefits of the treatment and to make them more responsive to the cure and rehabilitation process. People suffering from distress, depression, lowered self-esteem, are at greater risk of fluctuating from their healthy routines towards the risky and hazardous path of addiction. These people have already lost their courage to face the responsibilities of the world and are more of a flowing stream which may tread any of the available directions, if not guarded properly. Being mentally ill, they have the much lesser acumen to distinguish right from the wrong than that of healthy fellows (Kumari, 2016).
Socio-Economic problems and Peer influences:
(7) Socio-economic status and drug abuse are intuitively interlinked with each other, and both have reciprocal effects on the other side. Poor living environs have a direct relationship with substance abuse as it is one of the most important risk factors. If not direct, socioeconomic status has an indirect effect on the habits of addicts in the sense that economic deprivation and status denial accentuates the propensity of the adolescents to adhere to their group norms of drinking. High personal income also has a relation to the excessive alcohol abuse which attests to the fact of elites being more indulged in addiction (Mitchell, 2016). A family’s social standing and “financial position influences the drinking behavior and peer affiliations” which, at later stages of life, determine alcohol abuse (Mitchell). Low cost, unhygienic and substandard housing areas are often ripe with the people who use and abuse different drugs or, are heavy drinkers. Adherence or alliance to the peers who are abusers is one of the significant predictors of risk for the substance abuse. Both differential association theory and social learning theory support the argument and maintain that peer groups have an important bearing on the attitude formation and developing the bad habits (Peer Pressure and How It Can Cause Drug Addiction). It is not the case that peers exert their outright influence and pressurize a child or adolescent to abuse drugs; rather children themselves victim to problematic behavior affiliate themselves with the like-minded groups. This very affiliation and bad company reinforce the negative behaviors including substance abuse.
(8) Adolescents do not indulge in substance abuse merely because they are weak or morally unsound. A range of individual, societal and environmental risk factors have been enumerated by the researchers who maintain the fact that drug or alcohol addiction is not a phenomenon for which a single all-inclusive factor model can be presented. Its etiology reveals that more than one factors contribute their fair share to drag a person from using drugs to the level of abusing. Of these contributing factors, domestic problems, peer influences, sociological handicaps and lack of knowledge are more dominant issues in the identification of its causation. A failure to detect drug or alcohol addiction as part of a larger behavior pattern is a barrier to the efficient and timely intervention at the critical time when each factor contributes to another risk behavior and exacerbates the fiasco even further.
Cimino, Andrea N., et al. “Women Reentering the Community: Understanding Addiction and Trauma-Related Characteristics of Recidivism.” Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, vol. 25, no. 5, July 2015, pp. 468-476. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/10911359.2014.983257.
DuBreuil, Lisa and Stephanie Sogg. “Alcohol-Use Disorders After Bariatric Surgery: The Case for Targeted Group Therapy: Treatment Can Target the Unique Causes and Stresses That May Raise the Risk of Alcohol-Related Substance Abuse After Surgery.” Current Psychiatry, no. 1, 2017, p. 38. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.grossmont.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.480992664&site=eds-live.
Gwinnell, Esther and Christine A. Adamec. The Encyclopedia of Drug Abuse. New York, NY : Facts on File, c2008., 2008. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.grossmont.edu/login?url=http:// search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cat01154a&AN=gros.221198&site=eds-live.
Gorsuch, R. (1980). Theories on drug abuse: selected contemporary perspectives. Interactive models of nonmedical drug use, 8-23.
Kumari, Veena. “Increasing Cognitive Function May Improve Addiction Treatment Outcomes.” Psychology Today, vol. 49, no. 6, Nov/Dec2016, p. 12. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.grossmont.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=118742491&site=eds-live.
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“Peer Pressure and How it Can Cause Drug Addiction.” M2 Presswire, 23 Sept. 2015. General OneFile, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=ITOF&sw=w&u=sdccd_grossmont&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA429541606&it=r&asid=783f8e82fce2c74e2e88701793a1dcc4. Accessed 27 Apr. 2017.
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Shor, Ron and Shabtay Levit. “Persons with Drug Addiction as Knowledge Providers: Their Contribution to Social Work Education.” Journal of Teaching in Social Work, vol. 32, no. 2, Apr-Jun2012, p. 190. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/08841233.2012.667749.
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