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Question:

What positive influence can this factor have? Explain. What kind of negative impact, if any, can the factor have on drug use? Explain in detail. What kind of negative impact, if any, can the factor have on drug addiction? Explain in detail. How are factors that influence drug use different from those that influence drug addiction? Explain in detail.

 

Answer:

Drug use and Addiction

Introduction

The condition od addiction can be considered as such a chronic situation that results in the relapse of the brain causing compulsion with regard to seeking drugs and use of drugs despite knowing the adverse consequences. The person who is addicted generally becomes more and more engrossed and destroys himself as well as people around him or her. At the initial stage, in most of the cases the decision to take drugs is voluntary by these people (Allsop, 2008). Gradually the brain modifies and over the time it so happens that self-control of the person who is addicted is slowing hampered and he or she is no more able to resist the intensive impulses to succumb to the brains insistence to take drugs.

Therefore, slowly the person continues to take drugs and the brain of that person gradually adapts itself to the overpowering rushes in dopamine by the production of less dopamine or it reduces the number of dopamine receptors that is present in the reward circuit (Breckenridge, Salter & Shaw, 2012). As a result of this the impact of the dopamine takes place on the reward circuit and this reduces the ability of the drug abuser to enjoy not just the feeling of taking drugs but also all the other important events that is existing in his life that brings pleasure (Henderson, 2005).

 

Factors relating to Drug use and Addiction

There does not exist one single factor that can state the reasons why a person gets addicted to drugs. The risk that is related to the addiction of drugs is generally influenced by a number of factors. These factors are related to the society, the environment, the biology and the different stages of development (Buchanan, 2004). With the increase in the number of risk factors there increases the chances of taking drugs for the individuals that leads to addiction. Here in this study the factors that have been recognized are age, gender, sex, the mental health of the person, the economic status of the person and family bond. Among all these factors the researcher has chosen two of the most vital factors which are mental health and economic status of any individual.

Mental Health

When dual diagnosis has been conducted it has been observed that the issues of mental health and that of drug addiction have their own unique and different symptoms and this generally get into the manner in which to carry out different function in their lives, or to handle the difficulties in life and in relation to others (Coulthard, 2002). In most cases these disorders tend to affect each other and interact as well. For instance, if mental health is not treated, the problem with substance abuse becomes worse and when abuse increases the mental health problem also increases.

Some of the common mental health problems are depression that makes a person tired and unhappy, anxiety which makes a person fearful, worried and nervous, bipolar disorder that keeps changing the mood of the person sometimes making them feel happy and sometimes sad. The other problems are ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) and Anti-social personality disorder (Gauffin, Vinnerljung, Fridell, Hesse & Hjern, 2013).

 

Hence it can be easily understood that these problems cannot be diagnosed very easily and it generally takes time to make out whether it actually is substance abuse or a mental disorder. Denial is one more element that complicates this issue. People are usually ashamed to admit the problem and this increases the risk associated with the problem.

With regard to the use and addiction of drugs it can be observed that the positive effects are comparatively much lower when compared to the negative effects of mental health. However, there still exist some positive influences on mental health. Firstly, when drug addiction and mental health problems occur simultaneously, it becomes extremely difficult to identify the core problem (Cutcliffe & Saadeh, 2013). When a person is suffering from any mental condition and his or her use of drug is hidden it so happens that as a result of the mental condition the person’s drug abuse also comes to the forefront.

Further a person who is mentally healthy is more likely to be less affected by the drugs. For instance, a person whose mental status is healthy and strong, it is very seldom that such person succumbs to drug abuse easily. A person with weak mental health on the other hand has high chances of resorting to drug abuse and addictions. Hence it can be construed that the mental status of any person is extremely crucial with regard to his or her use of drug abuse (Karriker-Jaffe, 2013). If a person can be kept mentally strong, there are chances that they would not resort to drug use.

 

On the other hand, adverse mental health can have a lot of negative impact on the people who do drugs. For instance, mental illness sometimes leads to drug use. Sometimes people who are diagnosed with mental conditions such as overt or mild mental disorders or subclinical disorders tend to use drugs in order to apply self-medications (Livingstone & Davis, 2012). For instance, patients who are suffering from schizophrenia generally try to use tobacco products as they believe that use o tobacco would reduce the symptoms and in turn improve cognition.

Contrastingly, use of drugs also has an adverse effect on the mental health of a person. Psychoactive drugs affect the mental well being of the drug user. The common mental disorders that might arise as a result of the use of drugs are usually depression, ecstasy etc. Ecstasy can be considered as an amphetamine that makes a person hallucinate. The drug starts working when it makes serotonin available resulting in the causing of a sensation similar to euphoria. It should be noted that Serotonin is a chemical that is found in brain and its work is to regulate the mood. Ecstasy makes the brain produce even more amount of serotonin resulting in the happy feeling.

The factors that influence drug use and the factors that influence are not always the same. In fact there exist a number of differences between the two elements. The use of drugs is usually not resulting from serious mental conditions. For instance drugs can be used for different reasons such for the sake of medication, resulting from any pressure from family or friends or after getting influenced from them etc. However, the addiction of drugs is a different scenario all together. The use of drug is itself a factor for the addiction to drugs. Mental health is one such condition that comes into play more in the case of drug addiction. Mental conditions such as depression, agony generally lead to the addiction for drugs. Hence it may be considered that mental health is a more serious factor with regard to drug use and drug addiction.

 

Economic Status

The second factor that the researcher has considered with regard to the use and addiction of drugs is the economic status of the individual. There are a number of economic and socio-economic factors that have a direct affect on the use and addition of drugs. The social and economic drivers for instance the income, education and social connectivity tends to influence the use and addiction to drugs. Hence improving these factors would have a positive effect on the behavior and outcomes of these individuals.

For instance, people who fall into the lower category with regard to their income status do not have proper resources, access to nutritious food, appropriate housing, and healthy working conditions. These factors tend to have an influence over the individual and hence under most circumstances they resort to drugs as their way out of the problem. Along with these factors there are also other factors such as financial stress and working overtime. All these factors have a negative influence on the individuals.

On the contrary, people who have adequate income and employment are generally not affected by the financial demands and hence are less likely to be prone to taking drugs. They are less dependent on the material requirements. It can also be stated that the degree to which they are able to control the circumstances around them tend to have an effect on their mental and physical well being. It is generally when these individuals are not able to control their economic status they resort to drugs (Langwith, 2007).

When the economic status decrease the work pressure of individuals increase and this gives the individuals a chance to take drugs to reduce their work pressure. Also decrease in the economic status also increases their stress of the individuals and depression generally leads to taking drugs. Hence the use of drugs is enhanced by the increase in the work stress, lack of resources or social support or any connections to the community.

The positive impacts of the economic status on the use and addiction of drugs are many. Although it is generally observed that the people who have lower economic status face more number of problems it is not always correct to state that the people with a lower economic status always are more inclined to take drugs (Espejo, 2002). People who are from a good economic status also are inclined to take drugs. Hence it is necessary that the economic status be stable enough to not influence the individuals to take drugs. One more thing needs to be noted and that is with regard to the economic status of an individual, this factor is more inclined to influence the use of drugs rather than the addiction to drugs. Hence it can be construed that the economic status of any individual generally initiates a person to use drugs. The addiction to drugs is comparatively less influenced by the economic status of the individual.

Conclusion

As concluding remarks it can be stated that the use and addiction for drugs is a preventable disease. Contemporary research on drug use and addiction has shown that a lot of preventive measures can be taken in order to reduce the substance or drug abuse and addiction amongst individuals (Flaherty & Donato-Hunt, 2012). The preventive programs generally involve the families of the individuals, the schools and the communities and the media which is effective in decreasing the use and addiction of drugs. It is true that a number of events and cultural factors are present which have a lot of affect on the use of drugs and especially when the individuals realize that the drugs are harmful they decrease the intake. Hence from this discussion it can be stated that with the help of education and outreach individuals gradually understand the risks of drug abuse.

 

References

Allsop, S. (2008). Drug use and mental health. Melbourne: IP Communications.

Breckenridge, J., Salter, M., & Shaw, E. (2012). Use and abuse: understanding the intersections of childhood abuse, alcohol and drug use and mental health. Mental Health And Substance Use5(4), 314-327. doi:10.1080/17523281.2012.703224

Buchanan, J. (2004). Tackling Problem Drug Use. Social Work In Mental Health2(2-3), 117-138. doi:10.1300/j200v02n02_08

Coulthard, M. (2002). Tobacco, alcohol and drug use and mental health. London: TSO.

Cutcliffe, J., & Saadeh, B. (2013). Time to get serious? Psychiatric/mental health nurses and an evidence-informed drug policy for the USA. Mental Health And Substance Use7(4), 473-486. doi:10.1080/17523281.2014.924550

Espejo, R. (2002). Drug abuse. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press.

Flaherty, I., & Donato-Hunt, C. (2012). Cultural and family contexts for help seeking among clients with cannabis, other drug and mental health issues. Mental Health And Substance Use5(4), 328-341. doi:10.1080/17523281.2012.711768

Gauffin, K., Vinnerljung, B., Fridell, M., Hesse, M., & Hjern, A. (2013). Childhood socio-economic status, school failure and drug abuse: a Swedish national cohort study. Addiction108(8), 1441-1449. doi:10.1111/add.12169

Henderson, H. (2005). Drug abuse. New York: Facts On File.

Karriker-Jaffe, K. (2013). Neighborhood socioeconomic status and substance use by U.S. adults. Drug And Alcohol Dependence133(1), 212-221. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.04.033

Langwith, J. (2007). Drug abuse. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.

Livingstone, D., & Davis, A. (2012). Drug design strategies. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry [.

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