The Impact Of Substance Abuse On Mental Health

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This paper examines current research and literature based on the impact of substance abuse on mental health. Mental health is defined as those conditions in a society leading to a situation where people in their individual capacities, and in interaction with one another as members of groups are able to live lives of quality in all contexts of their existence (Psychological Association of South Africa, 1989, p. 5).

A substance, otherwise known as a “drug”, alters mental states such as mood, perception or consciousness when taken by a living organism (Fuhr, 1978). In the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) substance abuse, also known as addiction, is considered a disease (Griffin, 2015).
Substance use in South Africa has a long history (Meghdadpour, 2010). Researchers estimated that there were over 3 million orphaned infants residing in South Africa and that these orphaned
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Research in developing parts of South Africa such as Hospital hill has generally focused on the overall health and well-being of the citizens with the impact of substance abuse on mental health going unnoticed.
Research on this topic would lead to a better understanding of how the abuse of substances is harmful to mental health.

This study aims to provide a critical examination of existing literature and theoretical frameworks of the cause and effects of substance abuse on the mental health of those residing in underprivileged conditions. Through this study, the researcher will illustrate the nature and extent of the short and long-term consequences of substance abuse on mental functioning.
The aims of the study are as follows:
1. To make visible the problem of substance abuse.
2. To investigate causes of substance abuse.
3. To identify popular drugs of abuse in South

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