Substance Abuse

Full substance abuse notes

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  • Created on: 03-06-12 20:31
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Substance Abuse
Use & Abuse
Substance Use: The person experiences no harmful effects
Substance Misuse: The person experiences social, psychological, physical or legal problems
Substance Abuse: The person and indirectly others experience harmful affects
Addiction & physical dependence> Addiction: where the substance is used repeatedly, resulting in the
person being preoccupied with the substance, whereby they maintain a regular supply of the substance. They are
also likely to relapse if attempts are made to stop consuming the substance. The person is likely to be both physically
and psychologically dependant on the drug.
Components of addictive behaviour
There is a risk of relapse after coming of the drug
Feeling of `rush' when the addictive act is carried out
Activities associated with addiction in central in a person's life
Tolerance is built, so higher proportions are taken to maintain the pleasant feelings
Withdrawal occurs when the drug is suddenly not consumed
Relationships with others is affected
Physical dependence: Where the body has got used to the substance and continued usage is needed to maintain
in a normal state whereby no withdrawal symptoms or unpleasant feelings result if the substance is not consumed by
the person.
Psychological dependence: the emotional and cognitive compulsion to use the drug. There is an uncontrollable
craving, urge or desire to repeat a behaviour or action.
Tolerance: A state of progressively decreased responsiveness to a frequently used substance. Hence more of the
substance need to consumed to achieve similar effects as the first time round.
Aim: Investigating how drug tolerance may be situationally dependent.
Method: Rats were injected with heroin in their normal place of living for a period of 80 days. Later half of those rats
were placed in a different environment.
Results: 65% of the rats placed in a new environment died after being injected with an overdose of heroin, while
only 30% of the rats in their normal environment died after being injected with an overdose of heroin.
Conclusion: Drug tolerance can be related to the normal environment in which the drug is taken.
Withdrawal: The unpleasant physical and psychological side symptoms that occur when the person suddenly stops
consuming the substance. This occurs after the body has become tolerant to the substance. Withdrawal effects are
usually the opposite of the initial and pleasant effects of the substance. There are high chances of relapse after
withdrawal depending on the person's age and situation.
Types of Substance abuse:
Solvent Abuse: widely used in everyday products such as glues, paints, and cigarette lighter fuels. They evaporate at
room temperature allowing the fumes to be inhaled through the mouth or the nose. Inhaling solvents provides a
similar experience to that of being drunk on alcohol.
Aim: Investigating the trend in deaths from solvent abuse in the United Kingdom.
Method: Data collected from various different sources such as the press and coroners' reports.
Results: In the 1990 there were 152 recorded deaths due to solvent abuse. This fell to 64 in 2000.
Conclusion: Death rates from solvent abuse have fallen; this could be due to advertising campaigns by the
department of Health that took place in 1992.

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Tobacco and nicotine: Tobacco contains an addictive drug known as nicotine. Nicotine is a mild stimulant and a
person needs to be smoke regularly as the chemicals are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. Smoking cigarettes
or other tobacco-based products can be bad for your health. A link has been found between smoking and lung cancer
and many other forms of cancer. Passive smoking can also be very harmful to non-smokers.
Aim: Investigating the nicotine regulation model of smoking.…read more

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Evaluating kaij's study and the biological explanation for substance abuse:
Identical twins are often treated the same and they share the same this may the reason behind high
concordance rates rather than genetics
Adoption studies still suggest that genetics does play a role in explaining substance abuse even though the
environment is different
The study found 54% concordance rate among identical twins, it is not 100%
Deterministic/ reductionists approach as it does not take other factors into account and assumes one certain
cause will lead…read more

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Certain societies see heavy drinking and getting drunk as socially acceptable while others
do not.…read more

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Self-management programmes can also be assisted through community programmes whereby members of a
community run a programme based on the negative effects of a particular substance
Aim: Investigating the effectiveness of community programmes with teenagers on binge drinking
Method: A group of teenagers received a programme about the negative effects of binge drinking, while another
control group did not receive this programme
Results: Binge drinking was over 50% lower among the teenagers who received the programme
Conclusions: Community programmes can help individuals manage substance…read more

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Janis and Fleschback
Aim: Investigating the effect of different levels of fear-arousing appeals on health behaviour
Method: Three lectures on tooth decay were designed varying in the level of fear caused in the audience.…read more

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Health promotion aims to make people acknowledge the benefits of a healthier lifestyle as substance abusers usually
have an unhealthy lifestyle. Health promotion and education should either reduce or even prevent substance abuse
altogether.…read more

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