Personality Theory Of Drug Abuse

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Personality theory helps to tease out the relationship between individual personality and their drug use pattern. The theory posits that people have something wrong in the emotional or psychic life that makes drugs attractive to them. One personality theorist believed that euphoria derived from drugs is an easy way out for immature individuals who lack responsibility, a sense of independence, and the capacity to postpone self-indulgent gratification for the sake of attaining long term goals (Ausbel, 1980, pp.4-5). To another personality psychologist drug abuse is a defence mechanism for eliminating feelings of inferiority or inadequacies in some individuals. Low self esteem can initiate drug abuse and causes of low self esteem vary from individuals to individuals however common causes include parental neglect, physical or social deformity, peer rejection and finally poor coping abilities or mechanism that are either socially disvalued or self-defeating (Kaplan, 1975, p. 129). Hans eyesenck suggested and believed that people tend to seek out ways to modify their temperament and bring themselves to an even and stable state. For example he reasoned that introverts, whose brains are over excited and always gnawing at…show more content…
This theory can provide an explanation for substance use or misuse, in that individuals choose certain behaviour because of its perceived favourable outcome which in the case of drug abusers could be a feeling of pleasure, mental escape, or recognition and acceptance by a preferred group. If the behaviour results in the desired outcome or meets up to the expectation strengthening or increase in that behaviour will then occur. It is important to note that the expectation can be maladaptive in nature as with case of drug
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