Essay on Substance Abuse Is An Epidemic

Essay on Substance Abuse Is An Epidemic

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In the United States, nearly $600 billion is spent annually on the overall costs of substance abuse, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence ("Understanding Addiction", 2015). This amount includes non-direct costs such as health- and crime-related costs as well as productivity costs. Though this monetary number seems enormous, the personal and emotional costs of substance abuse can be immeasurable. Several fields of psychology, such as biological psychology, social psychology, and biopsychosocial psychology have been able to focus on the implications of substance abuse. Each field is able to bring forth a new viewpoint and approach on the significance of substance abuse. Ultimately, substance abuse is an epidemic that needs to be addressed. An analysis using multiple psychological lenses can lead to an understanding of how things such as stigma, biological impacts, decision making, psychological disorders and coping methods influence substance abuse.
In the article On Stigma and its Consequences: Evidence from a Longitudinal Study of Men with Dual Diagnoses of Mental Illness and Substance Abuse, Link and colleagues (1997) conduct a study to see whether or not the stigma surrounding substance abuse impacts the mental health of the individuals who have substance abuse issues. Through various scales and questionnaires, the researchers came to the conclusion that stigma does, in fact, have a negative impact on the mental health of those with substance abuse problems. The study concludes that stigma and rejection, whether real or imagined, have significant effects on persons dealing with substance abuse and mental illness, especially on any depressive symptoms that the individual may be experiencing. The ...

... middle of paper ... must be tackled.
In conclusion, no one field leads to a full understanding of substance abuse. It is necessary to look at multiple fields in order to address this epidemic. Social psychology explains the effects of stigma for an individual with a substance abuse problem. Biopsychology led to an understanding side effects and chemical reactions in the body. Cognitive psychology led to an understanding of why people choose to use substances. Finally, biopsychosocial psychology led to an understanding of how psychological disorder correspond with substance abuse. Further analysis led to an understanding of how stigma and family are related and additionally how there is a possible bias that affects conducting research in this field. Overall, substance abuse is a complex social issue relating to many fields of psychology and it is not easily understood nor analyzed.

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