Outline the personal and social problems associated with drug and alcohol abuse. What policies might be devised in order to deal with these problems?

  • Created by: amyoakey
  • Created on: 27-04-19 19:12

Main Stats

Ages 16-24 more likely to have used drugs. (Home office, 2013)

2.6% adults between the ages of 16-59 have taken class A drugs (Home office, 2013)

Last 5 years Tobacco-related death 550,000, Alcohol-related death 125,000, Heroin-related deaths only 800. (Home office, 2018)

In 2011, 8748 alcohol-related deaths (home office, 2011)

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Main academic sources

  • John Major (1995), drugs consequence in crime
  • NIDA funded study (2015), the teenage population ignore risks in favour of reward 
  • Newcomb and Bentler (1988), substance abuse linked with the deterioration of mental health
  • Strain theory - Robert K. Merton (1938)
  • Agnew (1985) - Research study linking substance addiction with strain theory (Canadian), when a person experiences strain = negative emotional response. People less likely to respond to strain with deviant mechanisms depending on levels of constraint, social support, social control + deviant peers and values. 
  • Zammit (2002) research - Cannabis increases chances of schizophrenia + some drugs may even be the root.
  • Scottish Government - Minimum Pricing
  • Gov.uk (2010 - 2015) - aims to reduce crime + anti-social behaviour/change behaviours of those who drink to point of harm, alcohol-fuelled violence, reduce binge drinking + Reduce alcohol-related deaths
  • Drug strategy 2017 (gov.uk, 2017) - reducing demand, restricting demand + building recovery. Providing data at both national and local levels to track drug use. targetting most vulnerable when reducing demand.
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Effects and consequences

  • marriages being effected from unemployment or financial crisis = boredom or enjoyment
  • detrimental effect on relationships
  • mental health and physical health consequences (schizophrenia, paranoia, anxiety, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, cardiovascular disease
  • curiosity can lead to dependency
  • Frequent substance abuse can lead to changes in brain = interference with ability to resist urge
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why people may abuse substance

  • A solution to problem/defence mechanism -supplying temporary respite (stress/anxiety)
  • contribute towards pleasure + decreasing anxiety + and any other inhabitations a person may have
  • coping mechanisms are compulsions - destructive or maladaptive, but addiction is both
  • Bored / lack of enjoyment within life
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