Substance Abuse Problem Overview

Substance abuse is a social problem that permeates every aspect of human nature in the society. The issue has become a public health concern that calls for intervention measures from all entities in the society. This study looks at the issue of substance abuse and the problems of addiction.

Socio-Cultural Factors

Socio-cultural factors in the society greatly influence drug use among the people. For instance, issues such as social networks, cultural backgrounds, and peer pressure not only determines substance abuse, but are also influence the specific types of drugs used in every setting. One of the social elements that determine drug use is group organization. Individuals in the society may be involved in drug abuse in order to conform to the requirements of their groups. In this case, peer pressure plays an important role in influencing drug use among individuals. For example, increasing trend of drug use among high school students in the United States is due to peer pressure.

Family is another social aspect that determines substance abuse in the society. Children who are raised in families where drug abuse is a common practice tend to emulate the behavior of their parents. With regards to culture, cultural aspects such as race, tribe and religious affiliation greatly influence drug use in the society. There is disparity in drug use among people with regards to race or ethnicity. For instance, among the African-Americans, The Amish and Mormon have lower rates of drug use due to strict cultural requirements on drug use. This subsequently reduces the rate of substance abuse among the people. The aspect of religion also creates disparity in drug abuse in the society. For example, Christians tend to abuse drugs compared to other religions such as Hinduism and Islam where drug abuse is widely prohibited. Islamic religion has strong regulations on particular drugs such as alcohol and nicotine. Moreover, cultural beliefs also contribute to drug use in the society. In the western culture, social events such as parties and other social gatherings must be embraced with some form of drug use.

The aforementioned factors have led to the widespread substance abuse in the society. For instance, in peer groupings there is the element of anxiety that may contribute to the substance abuse. Family problems such as financial difficulties and conflicts may lead to drug abuse as the alternative approach to reduce the level of stress.

The direct financial costs of drug abuse include poor financial management, increased level of debts, lack of financial stability, and reduced level of income. Drug abuse also leads to increased health care costs for the individuals and the government. On the other hand, non direct financial implications of substance abuse include a decline in economic productivity, lack of employment, and increased level of poverty.

The psychological costs of substance abuse include damage to the mind since the chemical content of the drugs affect the mental health conditions. Consequently, this leads to depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, reduced self confidence, and schizophrenia. The physical costs of substance abuse include extreme loss of weight, abdominal pains, muscular aches, and exposure to chronic illnesses such as cancer and organ complications.

The connection between drug addiction and crimes stems from the aforementioned problems. For instance, lack of employment lead to robbery among drug users in order to provide for their needs. Low self esteem and lack of acceptance in the society may lead to problems that are associated with interpersonal relationships or suicide.

Dynamics of Addiction

Addiction in substance abuse presents itself in different ways. Addiction may be repetitive due to pleasure, habit forming behavior, tolerance, and desire. Addiction may also be compulsive especially in circumstances where an individual lacks self control. Addiction may also result from a web of attraction, which may be influenced by friends or peer pressure. This dynamic of addiction is controlled by the needs of the group.

Defense Mechanisms

Denial is the defense mechanism where an addict does not want to accept the reality. The individual in this case acts like the situation does not exist. In denial, the addict does not embrace the fact that substance abuse is the cause of family problems or job related issues.

Regression refers to a state where there is a delay in a preceding stage of advancement. In this case, individuals who are overwhelmed with anger, stress or fear may exhibit some behaviors that are meant to exempt them from normal activities.

Projection as a defense mechanism occurs when the addict cannot identify the causes of various events in the surrounding. It is associated with memory lose or confusion. For example, in a family projection occurs when the spouses do not have time for each other.

Reaction configuration can be described as a defense strategy that stems from the transformation of dangerous unwanted beliefs. In reaction configuration the addict may exhibit false impressions of the things in the surrounding.

Rationalization as a defense mechanism involves establishment of a correlation between every behavior and results. In this case, drug addicts tend to believe that they should abuse drugs to attain some objectives. For example, one may assume that alcohol abuse reduces stress.

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Premium Papers. (2022, December 30). Substance Abuse Problem Overview.

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"Substance Abuse Problem Overview." Premium Papers, 30 Dec. 2022,


Premium Papers. (2022) 'Substance Abuse Problem Overview'. 30 December.


Premium Papers. 2022. "Substance Abuse Problem Overview." December 30, 2022.

1. Premium Papers. "Substance Abuse Problem Overview." December 30, 2022.


Premium Papers. "Substance Abuse Problem Overview." December 30, 2022.