The Causes of Substance Abuse Essay

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Substance abuse is an issue that has disseminated in the society and is often regarded as the relic of a thoughtless materialism. A false belief regarding addicted individuals seems to be ingrained in the minds of the majority of the population (Sadava, 1987). This belief is very often accompanied by appalling mental images of addicts and a highly judgmental attitude (Sadava, 1987). As a result, the causes of addiction are still wrapped in obscurity. This paper aims to outline the most basic reasons that lead to substance abuse and dependency, from the early developmental stage until late adolescence. First of all, when a child-bearing woman is using drugs, the substances are being transferred to the foetus through the umbilical…show more content…
Parental substance use can be extended to “Münchhausen's syndrome”, as defined by Asher (1951). Individuals who suffer from this disorder, usually convince themselves that they are diseased and that they need medication (Asher, 1951). When this disorder is left untreated, the individual abuses over-the-counter medications or illegal drugs (Asher, 1951). Individuals who have this syndrome are usually characterized by poor parental strategies and they repeatedly abuse substances in front of their children (Haller & Miles, 2004; Kent, 1994), who, later on, may be more likely to experiment with substances themselves (Mirlashari et al., 2012). What is more, research has shown that individuals who are addicted to substance use have experienced various forms of abuse in their childhood (Al-Kandari, Yacoub, & Omu, 2001; Barnard, 2006; Brook et al., 2001; Dow & Kelly, 2013; Sadava, 1987). More specifically, there appears to be a concordance of associations between early experiences of physical and sexual abuse and drug use (Harrier, Lambert, & Ramos, 2001). In particular, individuals who have had abusive experiences in their past, are more likely than others to use drugs as a way to alleviate their emotional trauma (Elster, 1999; Quinlivan & Evans, 2005) and to escape a potentially painful reality (Elster, 1999; Mirlashari et al., 2012; Quinlivan & Evans, 2005). However, physical or sexual abuse is not the only reason that leads
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