Addiction And Sociality : The Problem Of Substance Abuse

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Addiction begins with a choice, not necessarily a choice to become dependent upon a substance, rather a choice to take a walk through the land of oblivion at least once. A person does not simply wake up one morning addicted to heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine or any other substance. Perhaps a fleeting moment of despair, or the longing for acceptance brings this individual to the doorstep of addiction, prepared to move heaven and earth to find their next fix. Bruce Alexander himself writes, “I began to consider then that the current theories of substance abuse were wrong; that people used, not be they HAD to pharmacologically, but because the substance was one valid way of adapting to difficult circumstances” (Alexander 161). Just as the…show more content…
Findings in this study have shown, overwhelmingly, that users were seeking acceptance in social networks, be it family, friends or even of coworkers. Furthermore, the data shows often times drug behavior was not sought prior to initiation, rather the individuals drug behavior followed initiation into a social network of users (P. Boshears et al 294). Basically, it boils down to individuals engaging in drug use simply to be liked or accepted by their peers or people whose acceptance they seek. Testimonial after testimonial, participants talked of their longing for acceptance. Those who did not seek acceptance explained that family or friends, best friends, encouraged them to try a substance and because they trusted this person, they obliged their request. While not one interviewee admitted to actively seeking an addiction, that is exactly what they ended up with.
This research was void of any indications or implications of individuals being forced into drug behavior or drug use. All that was found in the pages of research were willing participants. Social influence on addiction or even casual drug behavior is undeniable. However, the decision to engage in the behavior always starts with a participants’ willingness to try it. Easy access and the availability to substances enable individuals the opportunity to use continually, while free will gives them the ability to make the decision to participate over and over. In the world of addiction, participation is key.
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