Methamphetamine : The Role Of Social Stigma

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Running Head: METHAMPHETAMINE ABUSE Methamphetamine: The Role of Social Stigma Introduction Over the last two decades, there has been an alarming increase of methamphetamine consumption from 4.8 million individuals in 1996 to 12 million in 2009 (Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration, 2010). Methamphetamine abuse is not exclusive to the United States, according to Degenhardt el al. (2008), East Asia is believed to be the largest methamphetamine producer and consumer in the world. Due to its powerful effects on the mesolimbic reward system, methamphetamine has a very high potential risk for abuse. With the alarming number of consumers increasing, methamphetamine addiction posses a significant public health concern similar or…show more content…
Social stigma has been found to be strong moderating factor in the use of treatment programs and efficacy. According to Semple et al. (2005), social stigma was strongly associated with “discrimination, rejection, ostracism, ridicule, prejudice, discounting, and discrediting of stigmatized individuals” (p.368). Further examination of methamphetamine use and stigmatizing attitudes is warranted to better understand the multi-facet predictors for methamphetamine abuse. Drug intake and Personality Novelty seeking and impulsivity personality traits have been linked to higher rates of drug intake and dependency. However, it is not well understood if these personality traits are determinants or consequences of chronic drug abuse (Ersche, Turton, Pradhan et al., 2010). To further examine this question, Erche et al. (2010) investigated sibling pairs and healthy controls and found higher levels of impulsivity traits, not novelty seeking, in both drug dependent individuals and their siblings. These findings indicate that impulsivity can be an underlying heritable predisposing factor in the development of drug abuse and dependency. Previous research has also found individuals high in novelty seeking are at a higher risk for stimulant abuse. Researchers believe this is partly due by the fact that novelty seeking behavior activates the same reward nueral pathways—mesolimbic dopamine system—that reinforces drug abuse behavior (Bardo, Donohew & Harrington, 1996).
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