• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

SUBSTANCE DEPENDENCE:PERSPECTIVES, APPLICATIONSAND IMPLICATIONS

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

PY607 PSYCHOLOGY IN QUESTION SUBSTANCE DEPENDENCE: PERSPECTIVES, APPLICATIONS AND IMPLICATIONS STUDENT NUMBER: 0201112 TUTOR: Dr. Julian Lloyd DATE: 7th JUNE 2005 SUBSTANCE DEPENDENCE: PERSPECTIVES, APPLICATIONS AND IMPLICATIONS Dependence or addiction can be defined as a degree of involvement in a behaviour that produces pleasure, but where the costs appear to outweigh the benefits. With regards to substance dependence, only psychoactive drugs that affect the brain pleasure pathway will lead to substance abuse or dependence. Such chemicals include alcohol, nicotine, narcotics, stimulants, and depressants. Despite the large body of literature on substance dependence, or drug addiction, there is no one theory of addiction. Understanding the nature of addiction is of great importance to improve efforts towards treatment and prevention. According to Home Office research (Godfrey, Eaton, McDougall & Culyer, 2002) the economic and social costs of problem drug-users, in England and Wales alone, are estimated at around �17 billion. In addition to the financial costs, consideration should be given to the emotional trauma of drug-related crime victims, the hardship and trauma suffered by families of problem drug-users, not to mention the health costs and deaths of users themselves. Not included in these figures are the legal drugs of nicotine and alcohol, which cause more deaths and social costs than illicit drugs. ...read more.

Middle

Users of the drug see their peers sharing needles and see no immediate negative effect. Therefore, they copy and conform to that behaviour to fit into their social group. Alcohol use in the Western world fulfils a social function in that people meet and relax in pubs and clubs. Similarly, heroin users meet and share the experience, often using their own language and social codes. Taking the drug ecstasy is the central activity at all-night 'rave' parties. It may be that within this subculture, the addict finds a socially validated role and that this is the motivation for continued substance use. Social learning theory emphasises the importance of self-efficacy and self-regulation processes. Self-efficacy can be described as the system that enables the individual to exercise a measure of control over their thoughts, feelings, motivations and actions. This theory also sees personality and behaviour as changeable, and therefore if one can change the way the individual thinks, or change the environment they are responding to, their behaviour will change (McMurran, 1994). Applications derived from social learning theory include teaching individuals to recognise the risk factors that lead to substance use, improving alternative coping skills, and enhancing the individual's self-efficacy beliefs so that these alternative skills may be used effectively. Cognitive behavioural therapies are among the most popular treatments of substance dependence (Morgenstern, Blanchard, Morgan, Labouvie & Hayaki, 2001). ...read more.

Conclusion

For instance, if a certain gene is found in a substance abuser and not in the general population, it is unclear as to whether the genetic information caused the substance abuse or the substance abuse itself caused a change in genetic information. There is a whole range of factors that influence behaviour and many factors must be taken into account when attempting to explain and understand substance dependence. Addictive behaviour varies between people and within a person across time. To complicate matters further, addiction can also be applied to non-substance related experiences such as gambling or exercise. No one can become dependent upon a substance without first using it, but not everyone who uses drugs becomes dependent on them. Additionally, not all substance-dependent individuals stay that way. The different perspectives of psychological research offer varied explanations that can be applied to different aspects of the phenomenon of substance dependence. However, there is no one theory of addiction. In conclusion, it is clear that biological factors have a part to play by identifying predisposition to addiction and the varying ways the body reacts to and metabolises substances. However, addictive behaviour occurs within a cultural and social context and individuals are able to learn, make decisions and process information. Therefore, these factors interact with each other to determine the nature and degree of addictive behaviour within an individual. To fully understand substance dependence a more integrated approach is required, which considers the many different processes at work. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Social Theory section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Social Theory essays

  1. Anti-Social Behaviour.

    v Howard [2001] 33 HLR 58, C.A. In an article published in the Legal Executive in March 2002, Daniel Collins reported that in this case the Court had no hesitation in finding that an outright possession order was necessary in order to uphold the law and pursue the legitimate aim of protection of the rights and freedom of others.

  2. Discuss both the 'how' and 'why' of addiction, focusing on the main models that ...

    Drug abuse, as distinct from simple chemical use or addiction, McMurran (1994) explains, can be generally identified when the individual either loses control of the drug-taking behaviour or loses control over behaviors that result from chemical use. When individuals exhibit behavior that is disruptive and damaging to some aspects of

  1. The Substance of Friends

    In implying that friendship is a kind of virtue and as a necessity in life, Aristotle classifies it intro three types - friendship based on utility, pleasure and on good character, this third he calls as genuine friendship (Pangle 2002, p.

  2. An Explanation of Child development, Based on Genetic and Environmental Influences.

    Thus, a child's undesirable behaviour sometimes maid be reinforced by adults, who behaving unfavourably themselves.

  1. Political Prisoners and Torture How have various social psychological perspectives sought to explain the ...

    It is common for torturers to justify their actions as merely the carrying out of orders (O'Byrne 2003 p.182). An Example of this would be the torturing of the Iraqi soldiers by American soldiers in the Iraq war. One sociological explanation that sought to explain the understanding of a torturer

  2. Drugs and Alcohol Studies Assessment One

    Application to Client Groups The moral model is widely applied to dependent users, perhaps purely for social or political reasons, but is no longer widely considered to have any therapeutic value. Elements of the moral model, especially a focus on individual choices, have found enduring roles in other approaches to the treatment of dependencies (Boss, 2004).

  1. Critically evaluate both the sociological and psychological perspectives as a multi disciplinary explanation to ...

    If one were to follow a psychological perspective in order to understand why some children like Mary may kill. Then it is necessary to delve further into the child's background, to understand whether they have ever formed an attachment with their caregiver.

  2. Bradford Riots. In this paper we focus in particular on the Bradford riot ...

    Our data is admittedly more limited than that of Keith. It has been generated from an analysis of the reports of the sentencing in the local newspaper the Bradford Telegraph and Argus. We do not want to argue that it provides us with an entirely accurate account of who the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work