Pornography Addiction Essay

Pornography Addiction Essay.

When most people admit that they are addicted to pornography, it would most probably be internet pornography, although all other types of pornography may be valid too. The progress of pornography addiction is extremely high with access to Internet. This is because Internet provides a huge amount of unlimited pornography, with varying levels of graphic content. Internet porn addiction reaches newer levels for an individual in a quick time. Before the individual could realize the changes on himself, he would be browsing at things he would have never expected.

Porn in every forms like movies, magazines and billboards produce negative effects on an individual. A sense of shock, shame and hopelessness develop within an individual which may require treatment or rehabilitation. The level of porn sought by an individual is always sequentially increased. As the addiction to porn is increased, higher level and more explicit levels of content are sought. As an individual views the porn content at a particular level for a certain amount of time, his body would gradually seek a higher and more extreme content.

The body wouldn’t be satisfied with the currently viewed content and demands more (NLH, 2007). Pornography viewing would always lead to sexually gratification acts like masturbation. Masturbation is only the start of self satisfaction, as a result of pornography viewing, from where it can get worse. Pornography is an addiction like drugs, however de-addiction from pornography is considered more difficult compared to drugs. Pornography addiction is closely associated with masturbation, which has its own physical and mental health effects.

The sexual organs are intended to bring pleasure when partners engage in acts of love making. However, when one is addicted to masturbation, there isn’t a bond of love with the partner, but only a bonding with ones own fantasies. Addiction to masturbation too generates sense of guilt and shame apart from making one feel unconfident in the presence of other people. Pornography and masturbation addictions only enhance and facilitate each other, and none can be stopped when the other is going steady. Even when porn is not viewed, masturbation would continue, by recollecting images stored in the head.

Even after a considerable amount time is spent without pornography, and with continued masturbation, one would feel a sense of reduced arousal. The individual then starts to seek porn again. The progressive nature of pornography was identified about 25 years back by Dr. Victor Cline who maintained that an addicted person’s needs are increased both in terms of frequency and in deviancy. It is estimated that about 3 to 6% of Americans are addicted to porn. Online pornography is a major cause of divorce, which was not associated with divorce until about seven to eight years back.

The justice department estimates that about 9 out of 10 children belonging to the age group of 8 to 16 have seen online pornography. Symantec, the software company has observed that about 47% of school children are recipients of daily pornographic spam (Weiss, 2005). The effects of pornography on children are evident from behavior scientist Ralph DiClemente’s observations that pornography develops to be a building block to a child’s emotional and mental development. The increasing influence of pornography on an individual is evident when an individual spends increasing amounts of time on porn content or seeks more extreme content material.

Such people would require associating pornography with their real sex life. They require pornography for stimulation when engaging in sexual acts. There are several signs associated with pornography addiction which indicate development of negative and problematic effects. Worrying that others would find out your pornographic interests, feeling a sense of guilt and shame after using pornography, thinking of pornography even when not using it, are among the negative effects of pornography.

With time, the use of pornography slips out of control and efforts to quit or limit pornography use would be unsuccessful (UTD, 2008). Addiction to pornography can result in neglect of responsibility or become less focused on your work or studies. Extreme use of pornography can also lead to emotional barriers with people you love and can also lead to loss of relationships. However, specialists involved in rehabilitation recommend changing routines and environments associated with pornography use and identifying the positive and negative consequences of using and avoiding pornography.

Successful rehabilitation also require spending lesser time being alone; and looking for newer ways of confronting feelings like anxiety, loneliness, anger, depression and boredom. Activities that facilitate relaxation, enjoyment and refreshment should be encouraged. Mary Anne Layden, the co-director of the Sexual Trauma and psychopathology program at the Cognitive Therapy Center of University of Pennsylvania says, “Porn is the most concerning thing to psychological health that I know of existing today. The internet is a perfect drug delivery system because you are anonymous, aroused and have role models for these behaviors.

To have drug pumped into your house 24/7, free, and children know how to use it better than grown-ups know how to use it — it’s a perfect delivery system if we want to have a whole generation of young addicts who will never have the drug out of their mind. ” (Singel, 2004). Layden too feels that pornography addicts have a tougher time recovering from their addiction than cocaine addicts, as it is possible to get the drug out of the system for cocaine users, but it is impossible to remove pornographic images from the brain, where it would be embedded forever.

To highlight the dangers of porn addiction, researchers are asking the Congress to undertake studies on porn addiction and also initiate a public campaign on the issue. At a hearing organized by the Senator Sam Brownback, anti-porn activists emphasized that Internet pornography is enticing children and hooking adults, thereby ruining families and jobs (AP, 2004). A psychologist even claimed that continued and free acccess to pronography would induce an afinity for deviated acts like group sex, sadomasochistic practices and even beastality.

According to Virginia Tech professor, James Weaver, who is involved in studies on pornography impact, “We’re so afraid to talk about sex in our society that we really give carte blanche to the people who are producing this kind of material”. Weaver also pointed out that research on the impact of pornography on family and community life, is very limited. However, studies have shown that pornography addiction can lead to lowering of sexual satisfaction and loss of family values. Lost jobs, failed marriages and broken families are some of the effects attributed to Internet pornography.

Internet pornography is spreading at rapid pace and all are vulnerable to this addiction. People take to pornography for several reasons including an attempt to escape the realities of life by self medication or sexual appetite. By taking to such addictions, a sense of satisfaction is obtained through the production and release of chemical substances by the brain and the body. The chemicals released by the brain and body include epinephrine, adrenaline, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), noradrenaline, norepinephrine and testosterone.

Accessing pornography consistently would provide sexual arousal to the addict, such that when they are away from accessing porn for a considerable time, they suffer withdrawal symptoms (Tayder, 2006). These symptoms drive an addict desperately to seek porn, and the addict acts inappropriately to satisfy his needs. Sexual addiction or porn addiction may be defined as a condition in which any sexual behavior is associated with a recurring failure to control that behavior and its continued practice despite significant negative consequences (Goodman, 1998).

The hypersexual behaviors associated with porn addiction can occur due to organic pathology. With an estimated 420 million adult content adult web pages, gone are the days when store open hours and secure hiding spaces had limited an individual’s porn activity. People who like to be always hooked up, have more at the click of their mouse. However, some specialists do not agree with the use of the word ‘addiction’ with regard to porn, preferring to use the word ‘compulsion’ instead.

Although people would label themselves as porn addicts, based on outside inputs, the mental health professionals have no established standards to diagnose and calibrate porn addiction. Eric Janssen of the Kinsey Institute disapproves using the term ‘addiction’ for porn (Downs, 2005). He feels that treating them as addicts would not help them, in anyway. In this regard, Layden emphasizes that diagnosing problems like chronic gambling and substance abuse are similar to diagnoses of problematic porn use. Sex therapist Lounne Cole Weston attributes three main reasons as to why people take to pornography.

They would like to act on their fantasies, avoid intimacy or just to facilitate masturbation. Sometimes people take to porn to fill up the gaps in their own sex life. For instance a person who loves oral sex and has a partner who hates it, would like to look at pictures of oral sex. Weston adds, “Then there are the people who are too embarrassed to explain what it is that they really would like to participate in, so they go there secretively, never having revealed to their mate what they would like to try”. The probability of an individual getting hooked to pornography today is much more than at any point of time, earlier.

Both hard and soft pornography is much more graphic today. Adult films are easily accessible today like any other favorite film. Even music videos incorporate sex to increase their sales. TV programs now allow bikinis and semi nudes to appear freely. The sex scenes and chat shows which reveal all kinds of sexual perversions, only adds to the worsening climate on the status of porn. Just like the swim suits of today, which are more revealing, everything seems to be accepted without much complaining. During the 70s, the TV and films rarely showed people kissing.

It is sad that some parents too don’t seem to be bothered by the developments. They feel that as the kids are someday going to see this, sooner or later, why not allow them now. Pornography is an important factor associated with sexual violence. The FBI report identifies hard core pornography as a common interest among serial killers. About 87% of child molesters are hardcore pornography addicts. When eight year old Jessica DeLaTorre was abducted, raped and murdered, it was committed by a porn addict, who had viewed child pornography the previous night.

Many specialists agree that a very important ingredient in the development of a serial killer is fantasy. These gruesome killings are the results of such fantasies put into reality. This progress of fantasy into reality may be attributed to pornography. John Wayne Gacy had been a avid reader of homosexual magazines for which his second wife had divorced him. Pornography escalates the inner urge, which is present in all of us. This passion for sex is vastly accelerated by pornography, till the individual succumbs to satisfy that drive, without realizing what he is doing in the process.

The desire for sexual gratification is dominant in all males, however killers who have not experienced sufficient intimacy in their childhood, attempt to control rather than being intimate during their sexual acts, and they begin to physically harm. The serial killer from Florida, Ted Bunty, recalled just before his execution how early exposure to pornography led him along the murderous path. He said that although he was responsible for his actions, the messages in the pornography contributed to his killings. To overcome pornography addiction, one must have a strong desire to achieve.

A strong desire is important to prevent half hearted attempts producing little results. Along with a desire to change, one should also have a sense of commitment. The process of change requires commitment to the process, as the first step. There cannot be any program or instructions which can produce changes for you, when you are not committed to change. Avoid your low self-esteem from taking you back to addiction. Think positively and high of yourself, imagine yourself as a transformed new person. Understand the cause and effects phenomenon and realize that porn addiction is a syptom or effect and not the cause.

The cause are the reasons which urge one to indulge in pornography. It is important to identitfy the people and places associated with biggest temptations to view porn and be extra cautious when confronting these. Like any other personal developments, porn addiction change needs to be realized in small manageable goals. Therefore one should set targets like wont be viewing porn for a week, etc.. Realizing such small goals, would provide an early onfidence and momentum. It is also important and helps significantly if the environment is adjusted to suit the deaddiction like getting rid of internet if internet is the main cause of porn viewing.

Pornography Addiction Essay

A Detailed Lesson Plan in MAPEH Essay

A Detailed Lesson Plan in MAPEH Essay.

Before we start with our lesson for Today, let us have first an action songentitled “Its I who build community”Ready?Yes sir!Okay, let us do it all together.Its I ( 3x) who build community(4x)*You*WeRoll over the ocean, roll over the seaRoll over the ocean and the deep blue sea.(The students willdo the action song)Very good!Do you like it?Yes sir!

2. Review

Class, what was our lesson lastmeeting? Sir, our lesson last meetingwas all about the meaning,source and form of drugs.

Very good! Where does the term drugderived?The term drug derivedfrom the Dutch word droog which means dry.Well said! What do you mean by theword drug in the filed of medicine? In the field of medicine, drug is any chemicalsubstance intended for use indiagnosis, cure, mitigation,treatment and prevention of diseases in animals.

3. Motivation

Class, I am going to show you a short video clip.What you are going to do is to observe andafterwards I’m going to ask your reactions basedfrom the video presented.

Am I understood class?Yes, sir!Now, what have had you observed fromthe video presented?We observed that the personsuffered a severe headache,He is hallucinating andexperienced difficulty inbreathing.What do you think are the reasons whythese particular situations happen?These situations happenbecause of the effects of taking or abusing drugs.Very good! B. Developmental Activities1.


This morning, we are going to discussall about the classification of drugs according touse and effect.

a. Setting of Standards
But before that, what will you do while yourteacher is discussing in front?Listen, behave, sitproperly, understandthe lesson, cooperate,and participate.Can I expect that from you?Yes, sir!

2. Lesson Proper

Class, I will group you into three. This willbe the group 1, 2 and 3. I have here some strips/photocopied materials containing the three classificationof drugs according to uses and effect. All you have to dois to discuss the topic, note/lists and write the importantdetails on your manila paper.Am I understood?Yes, sir!I will give you 5 minutes to do it. After yourgroup discussion, you are going to select 1 representativeto report it in the class.Am I understood?Yes, sir!Go to your respective groups now.


Teacher supervises his students in every group.Students report what they have had discussed in their group.Teacher gives additional information and makes some clarifications asregards to the topic presented.

IV. Evaluation

In a ½ crosswise of pad paper, explain briefly.1. What are the effects of abusing stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogensto:a. oneself b. familyc. community

V. Assignment

Have an advance reading about the topic “Prevention of drug abuse”.MAPEH-I textbook, pp. 378-380

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A Detailed Lesson Plan in MAPEH Essay

Genre Analysis Essay

Genre Analysis Essay.

Whenever we get sick, we see a doctor. We go to see a doctor to get a prescription to a drug which will make us better. We take the drug until we are better and once we are we store the drug in a cabinet for later. Many of us do not know that by keeping the unused drugs we are putting people around us in danger; especially children and teens. Children and teens are more curious to try the drugs and see the different reactions to their body not knowing one can be fatal and the other addicting.

A lot of people do not notice the severity of leaving such powerful drugs unattended and are later faced with the terrible consequences of their actions. Due to recent cases of prescription drug abuse, the media is sending out to messages to make the public aware of the problem and show the different ways that it can be prevented.

These messages or genres play an important part in the audience response.

Credibility, image, words, and color will structure the message and see how effective it is. Using two different genres one will be more effective than the other and communicate the message more effectively. Purpose and Audience The flyer “Join us in helping parents prevent teen prescription drug abuse” by Raymond Coalition for Youth is structured for individuals who want to prevent the problem from happening.

This flyer could be posted in doctor’s offices, pharmacies, grocery stores, and community centers making the information open to anyone who sees it and is interested in reading the information provided. There is no need to look it up online or go to certain places to see it.

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Genre Analysis Essay

Understanding Dual-Diagnosis Essay

Understanding Dual-Diagnosis Essay.

A dual-diagnosis patient is an individual who has a SUD and some form of mental illness at the same time (Doweiko, 2015). Dual diagnosis is not uncommon, individual with a mental disorder are twice as likely to have an SUD (Clinton & Scalise, 2013). Currently there are 4 million people in the United States who are suffering from some sort of dual-diagnosis. (Doweiko, 2015). According to the text if an individual has a mental illness they are 270% more likely to have an SUD. Studies further indicate that the more serious the mental illness the harder it will be for the individual to abstain from drug use.

(Doweiko, 2015).


There are four theoretical models for dual diagnosis patients. The first one suggests that the dual diagnosis points to a common yet undiscovered pattern within these individuals. At this point there is not much research to validate this theory (Doweiko, 2015). The second model suggests that individuals are trying to self-medicate. (Doweiko, 2015). This need to self-medicate is also a trigger for the additive cycle (lecture) individuals with a dual-diagnosis will self-medicate as a way to escape some of the symptoms of their mental condition.


Some of these symptoms include, anxiety or worry, the need to avoid pain (both physical and emotional), feel a sense of belonging or to reduce the confusion or disorder that can be caused by the disorder (Lecture). The third model suggests that the substance abuse is secondary to the primary condition. (Doweiko, 2015) This model can be challenging because some of the symptoms seen in common mental disorders can be brought on by the addiction, (Doweiko, 2015). It will be helpful to ascertain if the symptoms of the mental condition existed before the development of the SUD (Doweiko, 2015).

The final model suggests that individuals with a mental disorder are more sensitive to the effects of substances of abuse and as a result they are more apt to use them (Doweiko, 2015). The addictive cycle can offer an explanation of how this could be possible. The steps of the addictive cycle begin with the individual feeling pain and hitting bottom before they begin to seek relief. Since A dual-diagnosis individual may not have a healthy support system, nor proper access to medical care. (Doweiko, 2015). This need to use or do could serve as a trigger for relapse within the addictive cycle. (Lecture). The means the individual must do something to alleviate the pain they are feeling. Then instead of feeling bad about the relapse the individual feels good, because they have relief from the pain. However the individual will crash hard and cycle back to pain, increasing the tolerance to the substance of abuse.


Addressing substance abuse with a dual-diagnosis patient can be difficult for a variety of reasons. Some include the fact that substances of abuse can interact negatively with prescribed drugs (Hamilton,2013), Also some patients who use illicit substances may have additional concerns from contracting other medical conditions such as Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C (Hamilton, 2013). Because of these factors, some individuals with a dual-diagnosis will have problems with metabolizing medications, leading to an increased risk of adverse reactions or toxicity (Hamilton, 2013).

The stages of treatment for a dual-diagnosis client include the first goal of establishing a good relationship between the client and the medical professional (Doweiko, 2015). This will take time and patience on behalf of the medical professional. The second phase is the motivational phase. This stage consists of the medial personnel making the client aware of the relationship between the two diagnoses and how one effects the other. (Doweiko, 2015)The third phase is active treatment. During this phase the medical staff will help the client to find suitable resources and the appropriate environment of care. (Doweiko, 2015).

The outcome of treatment is greatly affected by the environment the client will be discharged into. If the client is discharged into an unstable environment, or one where drug use is present the individual will be at a greater risk of relapse (Doweiko, 2015). It is also important to consider the support system of the client. Those who participate in group therapy will have a greater chance at succeeding, because they have the support of peers, and additional accountability. (Doweiko, 2015) WCC=719

Clinton, T., & Scalise, E. (2013). Additions and Recovery Counseling. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. Doweiko, H. E. (2015). Concepts of Chemical Dependency (9th Edition ed.). La Crosse, WI: Cengage Learning. Hamilton, I., & Pringle, R. (2013). Drug interactions and dual diagnosis. Advances in Dual Diagnosis, 6(3), 145-150. doi:

Understanding Dual-Diagnosis Essay

Ethical Problems of Gambling Essay

Ethical Problems of Gambling Essay.

Looking at the ethical view of gambling through the eyes of Utilitarianism and Deontology perspectives we will find 2 very different views with the same outcome. Should there be any restriction of gambling? Is it a form of freedom, or an invitation to addiction?

George Washington said: “Gambling is the child of avarice, the brother of iniquity, and the father of mischief.” Benjamin Franklin advised: “Keep flax from fire, and youth from gaming.” There is all kinds of gambling these days, there is internet gaming, sports wagers, casinos, animal fighting , and many other ways , we can even gamble in the stock market.

Utilitarianism suggest that we do what’s right for the most people involved. As I think about that statement the only entity that gambling really helps is the corporation that is presenting the gambling opportunity itself. Money that could be invested, loaned, and recycled through the economy is instead risked in a legalized gambling scheme. Legalized gambling siphons off a lot of money from the economy.

More money is wagered on gambling than is spent on elementary and secondary education ($286 billion versus $213 billion in 1990). Historian John Ezel concludes in his book, Fortune’s Merry Wheel, “If history teaches us anything, a study of over 1300 legal lotteries held in the United States proves…they cost more than they brought in if their total impact on society is reckoned.”

What is better for the good of society would be to stop gambling all together because only a handful of people may win enough to actually help them in anyway at all. Sports gambling has affected sports by introducing organized crime into the sporting arena. Past scandals at Boston College or Tulane illustrate how gambling has adversely affected the integrity of athletes, coaches, and colleges. Players have been involved in point-shaving scandals and the problem could only become worse in an environment where sports gambling is legalized.

The solution in the Utilitarianism perspective would be to not allow gambling because it hurts more cities and people than it helps. Psychologist Julian Taber warns, “No one knows the social costs of gambling or how many players will become addicted…the states are experimenting with the minds of the people on a massive scale.”(7) Families are torn apart by strife, divorce, and bankruptcy. Boydon Cole and Sidney Margolius in their book, When You Gamble–You Risk

More Than Your Money, conclude: “There is no doubt of the destructive effect of gambling on the family life. The corrosive effects of gambling attack both the white-collar and blue-collar families with equal vigor.”

Looking at the Deontology perspective we will try to look at the reasons behind gambling. Although gambling has a clear financial effect, it is fundamentally an emotional issue (KalebKaleigh, May 2011).

The behaviors of an addicted gambler can be similar or the same as a drug addict or alcoholic. A 1994 study out of the University of Illinois that indicated the social problems created by gambling, (e.g., gambling addiction, domestic abuse, suicide, crime, indebtedness, etc.) outweigh by far any benefits to the community. In fact, the gambling enterprise costs “taxpayers $3 for every $1 of state revenue collected.” If gambling hurts more than it helps, the denontology perspective would look at why.

Compulsive gamblers find ways to deal with increasing monetary loses without curbing the gambling habit. For instance, going into retirement savings to try their chance at the “big win.” On the other hand, if the gambler becomes increasingly irritable, taking over finances, and spending more time away from home without an explanation, suspect something is wrong (Stannard,2010). The mentality that you can get something for nothing is very addictive.

When I was a bingo caller we would call a new player a virgin because they did not have the feeling of winning yet but after they won and realized how easy it was and how fun the feeling is when you win, they were instantly addicted. They would be there every night looking for that feeling again, even if they didn’t win for 30 days after. People like getting a lot for a little and the excitement of winning is very addictive.

American society has deemed gambling an activity that is victimless and therefore the right to gamble has been upheld. Gambling disorders are broadly defined as persistent and recurrent maladaptive gambling that disrupts personal, family, or vocational pursuits (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).

If drugs are illegal because of what they do to individuals and families then why shouldn’t gambling be illegal too? The social and economic cost associated with gambling is enormous. Pathological gamblers may develop general medical conditions associated with stress, and there is elevated risk of suicide (Petry, 2005). Pathological gamblers also are reported to have incresed rates of mood disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and substance use disorders (Crockford & el-Guebaly, 1998).

When looking at this through a Deontologist perspective we have to look at the reasons of gambling addiction. The explanation of loss of control of gambling behavior (so-called pathological gambling) presents a considerable challenge for general theories of addiction for two main reasons. First, unlike many other addictions, gambling does not involve the ingestion of substances that alter psychopharmacological states. Second, like many other addictive activities, the majority of the population participates to some degree (Walker 1992b).

Decision making disorders could play a huge role in a gambling addiction. The addict will have problems deciding when to gamble and how much they should gamble. It has been argued (Evans & Coventry 2006) that the explanation of gambling behavior should be seen in the context of two different types of decision making – implicit and explicit systems. The importance of implicit (unconscious) processes in relation to human decision-making and reasoning has been demonstrated across a wide range of decision-making and reasoning tasks (Evans 2003).

Not matter what the reason is for a gambling addiction, gambling can ruin a person and those around them. Gambling causes crime and families being torn apart. No matter which way you look at gambling either through a Deontologist perspective or Utilitarianism perspective, the outcome is the same. When there is gambling introduced to society, there will also be crime and addiction.


A. Bechara, H. Damasio, D. Tranel & A. R. Damasio (1997) Gambling and decisionmaking: A dual process perspective. Science 275:1293-95. Coventry, Kenny R A dual process perspective Coventry, Kenny R. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31.4 (Aug 2008): 444-445

J. St. B. T. Evans (2003) Gambling and decision-making: A dual process perspective. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7:454-459.
R. W. Wiers & A. W. Stacy, eds (2006b) Gambling and decision-making: A dual process perspective. Current Directions in Psychological Science 15: 292-96. McKenna, David. 1973. Gambling: Parasite on Public Morals. Christianity Today, June 8. Charles T. Clotfelter and Philip J. Cook, Selling Hope: State Lotteries in America (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991), 123-127.

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Downs, C, & Woolrych, R (2010). Gambling and debt: The hidden impacts on family and work life. Community, Work & Family, 13(3), 311–328
Lesieur, HR (1998). Costs and treatment of pathological gambling. The Annals of the American Academy, 556, 153–171
Franklin, J, & Thoms, DR In Shaffer H (Ed.) (1989). Clinical observations of family members of compulsive gamblers. Compulsive gambling: Theory, research and practice (pp. 135–146).

Ethical Problems of Gambling Essay

Relapse Prevention Plan Essay

Relapse Prevention Plan Essay.

Jed, a 38 – year old welder, enrolled in the treatment center after his arrest resulting from drunken driving (DUI/DWI) (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, n.d.). His lawyer has advised him to stop drinking and get treatment until his trial date, which is in approximate two months. Jed does not believe that he will serve any jail time, but feels that treatment could help strengthen his court case (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, n.d.). In this paper, I will create a relapse prevention plan that will aid Jed as he enters into his treatment program.

This paper will also show ways to identify the warning signs of relapse.

A relapse begins long before the person actually picks up a drink or drug (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)-Department of Health and Human Services, 2007). Most proficient gradual warning signs that revive denial and result into intense pain calls for self-medication with alcohol or other drugs or both which is basically a noble idea.

It is not a conscious task. The warning signs in this case are known to develop spontaneously and instinctively. Owing to that fact that not many recovering people are always taught on the best ways to recognize and mange relapse warning signs, they are not able to identify them up to the point when they start feeling unbearable pain.

Step 1: Stabilization

Relapse prevention planning will most probably not work if the relapser is not sober and in control of himself (Addiction in women, 2010). Detoxification and sobriety are very vital for the relapse prevention plan to work successfully. Having in mind that most people who relapse are toxic, even if they are sober, it will still be very difficult for them to think clearly remember things and manage their emotions. The symptoms would worsen
in any case the person gets isolated from the society or when he undergoes stress. It is advisable to move slowly and focus on the basics and in this case, the question here should be “What is it that you need to do to avoid drinking today?”

Step 2: Assessment

This step aims at identifying the progressive pattern of problems that did result into the past relapses and then find solutions to the pain resulting from such problems. This would be accompanied by the reconstruction of the current problems, the alcohol and substance use history, life history and retrieval relapse history. Through the reconstruction and presentation of problems, the now and here issues that stand to cause immediate threat to sobriety can be pinpointed and crisis plans developed to resolve such issues.

Step 3: Relapse Education

Relapsers have to be familiar with the relapse process and the best ways to manage it. Involving the family and other sponsors is a great idea. The education should strive to emphasize four main messages: First, relapse is an ordinary and a natural process in the recovery out of the chemical dependence. One should not be ashamed of it like in the case of Jed who “gets jumpy” when he tries to stay away from drinking, feeling “closed in or like he is suffocating”. He also cannot imagine how to explain to his buddies why he is not joining them in the bars. Secondly, people are not all of a sudden taken drunk.

There are gradual warning sign patterns that indicate they are slowly cropping in again. Such signs can only be recognized when one is sober. Thirdly, after they are identified, the recovering individuals can get to learn how to manage such relapse warning signs when sober. And the last one is that hope is real. Jed once attended a few AA meetings, but did not feel that AA was helpful: “It was listening to a lot of guys whining….” This should and will most likely change if he attends a lecture that describes the typical warning signs that precede relapse to chemical use.

Step 4: Warning Sign Identification

Relapsers should be able to determine the problems that resulted into relapse. The main objective here is to list personal warning signs that made them move from a state of stable recovery all the way back to chemical use. There is hardly ever just a single warning sign. Ordinarily a series of warning signs develop one after the other to create relapse. The cumulative effect is what wears them down. The ultimate warning sign is basically last blow. Regrettably most relapsers think it is the last warning sign that caused it all. For this reason, they tend to assume the early and more delicate warning signs that leads to the final disaster.

Step 5: Follow-up

The warning signs are unbound to change with progress in recovery (Field, Caetano, Harris, Frankowski & Roudsari, 2009). Each of the stages involved in the recovery process has distinctive warning signs. The ability to deal with the warning signs of one stage of recovery does not warranty that one will know how to manage the warning signs of the next stage. The relapse prevention plan therefore has to be updated more often which should be; monthly for the first three months, quarterly for the first two years, and annually thereafter. Call now for immediate relapse prevention help.

Addiction in women., (2010). Harvard Mental Health Letter, 26(7), 1–3. Field, C. A., Caetano, R., Harris, T. R., Frankowski, R., and Roudsari, B., (2009). Ethnic differences in drinking outcomes following a brief alcohol intervention in the trauma care setting. Society for the Study of Addiction, 105, 62–73. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (n.d.). Case examples. Retrieved March 28, 2010, from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)-Department of Health and Human Services, (2007). Retrieved October 31, 2010 from Category: Essay

Alcoholic Anonymous. (2014). About AA meetings [Newsgroup comment]. Retrieved from Capuzzi, D., & Stauffer, M. D. (2012). Foundations of addiction counseling (2nd ed.). National Institute on Alcohol

Relapse Prevention Plan Essay

Alcohol Addiction Essay

Alcohol Addiction Essay.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the problem of addiction, which affects many individuals, families and communities everyday. This essay is going to look at the prevalence of addiction in Scotland and what the Scottish Government are proposing to do to reduce the damage caused by addiction. There are many other stakeholders in the scheme to make Scotland a better place these are: individuals themselves, friends, family, communities, local governments and the National Health Service. Everyone is working together to try and make Scotland a better and safer place to live.

The definition of addiction has changed so many times over the years from when people believed that addiction was basically “a physiological adaptation to the presence of a drug in the body so that the absence of the drug leads to physiological dysfunction which is manifest to the sufferer as unpleasant or even life-threatening ‘withdrawal symptoms’” (West and Hardy, 2006). This definition howeve takes into consideration the idea that an addiction only has a physiological effect on the body rather than a psychological one.

Now, addiction is to be defined as “a syndrome at the centre of which is impaired control over a behaviour, and this loss of control is leading to significant harm” (West and Hardy, 2006). One of the main reasons that the definition has changed so many times is the fact that addiction is socially defined rather than having a matter of fact definition of an object.

It has been found that everyone is addicted to something; however, it may not be an illegal substance. It can range from anything that is immediately harmful like drugs to some other substances that become dangerous in larger quantities. Many people have become addicted to things such as exercise, food and gambling. Although these do not seem to be dangerous, addiction is more of a lifestyle and therefore addicts normally only live to get their next ‘fix’. So if done too often can become harmful, for example, putting on too much weight from eating a lot of food is psychologically damaging as well as bad for your mental health. Whereas shopping and gambling can put you in serious money debt, which in turn may cause a distress and psychological problems.

Although there are many different types of addiction this essay is going to look at alcoholism in particular. An alcoholic is defined as a person who has “a tolerance for alcohol, they are dependent on alcohol, and the develop withdrawal symptoms when alcohol use is terminated” (Bennett and Holloway, 2005). Unlike other substances alcoholics tend to start in lower doses and work up to higher. In the UK, the recommended daily intake of alcohol, for men is 21 and women are 14 units. However, in 2008, it was found that “50% of men and 30% of women are regularly drinking of the sensible drinking guidelines”. Because of this, the Scottish Government has started to make many changes to the way alcohol is sold. This essay will look at the different effects that alcohol addiction has on a person’s life and what strategies the Government have put in to place.

Many researches have taken place to determine whether or not there is a single gene that can decide whether a person will become dependant on alcohol in their life and without any proof it is understood that there is no genes that can influence this. However, there are countless factors that influence the prevalence of a person becoming an alcoholic from the environment they live in to the choices they make. In recent research carried out by the Scottish Government it was found that “One in 4 women consume alcohol during pregnancy”.

Foetuses can become dependent on the alcohol that the mother is drinking throughout the pregnancy. This can also mean that the foetus can develop some kind of alcohol related birth defects, such a “malformations, growth retardation and abnormalities, which have ‘considerable individual variation’”. The environment that a child grows up in also plays a role in the way a person views alcohol. If a child grows up with parents who are either alcoholics themselves it is very likely that the child will start drinking at a younger age so therefore increasing their risk of alcohol dependency in later years.

It has been found that male and females react differently to addiction, as women tend to start at lower doses than men, however they are increase their dosage at a higher rate than men. This is still the same when it comes down to dealing with addiction, women are more like to go and get help than men.

With lack of quality education in the most deprived areas of Scotland many people are unemployed. It is these people with no real life prospects that turn to alcohol. With alcohol dependency being more of a lifestyle, an addicts life is very chaotic, only making sure they have enough money for the alcohol they need. Addiction can also be difficult for family and social life, as addicts are usually unable to look after children or other family member. This can lead to breakdown of families and communities, which can add more violence to an area. The government have estimated that “alcohol misuse costs Scotland £2.25 billion every year”. This figure includes all of the social problems that alcohol misuse creates. For instance paying for the NHS to treat people who have had accidents while being intoxicated or domestic abuse cause by alcohol. In the policy the government aimed to reduce the alcohol related hospital admission by 2011.

(Scot Gov, 2011)

Scotland is well known around the world for the drinking and the whisky that the country produces. In a study that was carried out by Biggar Economics (Blackett, G. 2013) in 2012, it found that the whisky industry employs a massive 10,284 workers in Scotland and had a turnover of £3,940 million in 2008. A survey was carried out to find if Scots enjoy a night better if they are drinking alcohol. It showed that 32% of people said that they found it easier and of the 32%, 42% of them were men. In the UK alone Scotland has the highest mortality rate out of each country. Scotland (26 deaths per 100,000 people) has double the amount of deaths by alcohol than England (13 deaths per 100,000 people). To reduce alcohol related violence the government put forward legislation to stop nightclubs from serving their drinks in glasses and serve them in plastic cups instead. This meant that let people were being injured from broken glass being thrown.

“Changing Scotland’s Relationship with Alcohol: A Framework for Action (2009)” is a follow on policy from a, well received by the public, discussion paper, “Changing Scotland’s Relationship with Alcohol”, where they proposed different ways to reduce alcohol misuse in Scotland. The policy states that alcohol is a bigger problem than anybody realised with many factor contributing to it such as, “socio-economic, cultural, educational, community-based, health-related, or linked to individual behaviors and choices” (Sturgeon, N. 2009). The main stakeholders of the policy are the Scottish Government, local Governments, health organisations (NHS), individuals and the alcohol trade market. The policy starts by stating the main reason that the alcohol misuse is becoming such a problem in Scotland, which is the fact that it has become so affordable, it is now “70% more affordable than in 1980” (Sturgeon, N. 2009).

The main aim of the policy is to reduce alcohol consumption by supporting individuals and communities by improving their own attitude towards the ever-growing problem of alcohol misuse. The first thing that the government want to do is ban off-sales from selling alcohol as a loss leader to bring customers into their premises. The way to enforce this was to introduce a minimum price per unit of alcohol. This also meant that shops could no longer advertise alcohol based on price reduction alone. Another aim of the policy was to raise the legal age for buying alcohol from off sale to 21. There were mixed votes, with were in favour” (Sturgeon, N. 2009). In a test run of the project in Cupar, Stenhousemuir and Armadale, only running on Friday and Saturday evening, it was found that there was a reduction in anti-social areas in all three area. However, with so many people being against it the Scottish Government have refrained from putting this in force.

“Plan for action on alcohol problems: update (2007)” is policy written by the Scottish government as an update of the “Plan for action on alcohol problems (2002)”. The main stakeholders of this policy are the Scottish Government, Local Government, the Scottish education system, individuals, health organisations (NHS) and the alcohol trade industry. One of the first aims of the policy is to educate young people about the dangers of alcohol and alcohol misuse. This is in hope that if they educate the young people then when they grow up and become the age of legally being able to drunk that they will have enough knowledge and education to be able to handle it with care and therefore reducing alcohol misuse in the future. The Scottish government have introduced the “Alcohol. Don’t Push It” campaign, set out to not only educating the young people but everyone of all ages not to abuse alcohol but rather to have it as part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. The Scottish Government has put in “£13 million over 2005/06 and 2006/07 to support local alcohol treatment, support and prevention activities” (Kerr, A. 2007).

This shows that they are trying to tackle local authorities to ensure that they have the knowledge and support to be able to educe their alcohol misuse problems themselves. It has been found that “the number of liquor licences in Scotland has increased by 23%”(Kerr, A. 2007). This is making alcohol more and more accessible meaning that people are able to drink to so much excess with alcohol being sold in off-licenses, supermarkets, pubs and little local shops. “Alcohol-related industries are estimated to employ around 155,000 people (6% of total employment in Scotland) (Kerr, A. 2007)” This means that a lot of people’s livelihood relies on the production and sale of alcohol in Scotland and if sales decrease too much these people lose out. The UK Government receives taxes of “7% of total Customs and Excise revenue” (Kerr, A. 2007) from alcohol alone. This means that if the alcohol sales were to go down they would lose out on money however, saying that they would also save the money that they currently spend on the restoring the problems that alcohol misuse cause, such as treating people that have illnesses relating to alcohol.

When providing alcohol all premises have to have a license to allow the to do this. The Alcohol Etc. (Scotland) Act 2010 was written by the Scottish Government to ensure that all premises were following the laws and regulations of their license. The main stakeholders in this act are the Scottish Government and the alcohol sales industry. The act outlines the rule and regulations for the sale and pricing of alcohol. The act states that if “A package containing two or more alcoholic products (whether of the same or different kinds) may only be sold on the premises at a price equal to or greater than the sum of the prices at which each alcoholic product is for sale on the premises” (Anon. 2011).

This means that if two products are packaged together that they must be sold for at least the price of the products if they were sold separately if they are also sold separately on the same premises. The act also states that a premise must have a scheme in place to make sure that age verification is being carried. Many place take the ‘Think 25’ approach, where they must ask verification of anyone who looks aged 25 or under. This is to ensure that young people who look older than they are are being checked for identification. This is one way the Scottish Government are trying to reduce the underage drinking in Scotland.

Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 was put into place to ensure that alcohol was not being sold at too much of a reduced price. The reason for this is to stop alcohol being made too accessible, especially to people who are not able to afford the necessities such as food, water and safe shelter. An equation was put in to place to ensure that everyone was complying with the same legislation, it was: “MPU x S x V x 100” (Anon. 2011). MPU is maximum price per unit, S is Strength of the Alcohol and V is the Volume of alcohol.

In conclusion of this essay, alcohol misuse is still a major problem in Scotland to this day but with the leadership of the government and the help of every individual, community and local government then hopefully in the future we can say that Scotland is still as social and hospitable as ever. The only change will be that there is a decrease in the deaths, injuries and social problems cause by alcohol.


Bennett, T. and Holloway, K. 2005. _Understanding drugs, alcohol and crime_. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Drink Aware. 2013. _Alcohol Dependence_. [online] Available at:

Unknown. 2003. _Percentages of Past Year Alcohol Dependence or Abuse among Adults Aged 21 or Older, by Age at First Use_. [image online] Available at:

Scot Gov. 2011. _Varying risk of crime – proportion of adults who were victims of crime by area deprivation_. [image online] Available at:

West, R. and Hardy, A. 2006. _Theory of addiction_. Oxford: Blackwell Pub./Addiction Press.

Ford, K. Unknown. Understanding of the use of alcohol in pregnancy amongst women in Scotland. Published by General Register Office. Available at:

Kerr, A. 2007. Plan for action on alcohol problems: update. Published by the Scottish Executive. Available at:

Sturgeon, N. 2009. Changing Scotland’s Relationship with Alcohol: A Framework for Action. Published by the Scottish Government. Available at:

Anon. 2010. Alcohol etc. (Scotland) Act 2010. Published by the Scottish Government. Available at:

Anon. 2012. Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012. Published by the Scottish Government. Available at:

Scot Gov. 2009. Tackling alcohol misuse. Published by the Scottish Government. Available at:

Blackett, G. 2013. Contribution of the Scotch Whisky Industry to the Scottish Economy. Published by Biggar Economics. Available at:


Alcohol Addiction Essay

The Evil of Drug Addiction Essay

The Evil of Drug Addiction Essay.

Our ancestors have spoken of five cardinal sins which must be avoided by all means though they may appear to bring profit or pleasure for the time being. The five cardinal sins are gambling, stealing, murder, unchastity, and drugs. The history of humanity is replete with examples where people have been ruined by following the path of one or another of them. Whole nations were brought to disgrace because of opium.

Why then does a man take to drugs? Some think it adds to pleasure; some other think that it takes away physical weariness.

Also they have a doping effect such that at the spur of the moment, the person may act more vigorously but only to find himself weaker later. Still others take it in order to join their peers. In cold countries, they take it to keep themselves warm.

While in very small doses, drugs act as medicines, but in large doses, they can only bring harm. Sustained consumption of them in large quantities will lead to dependency and addiction.

Continued addiction upsets the digestive system, especially the liver, leading eventually to death. Drugs also affect the nervous system, especially the brain which controls the voluntary action. So a man under the influence of a drug in unable to walk properly, and he staggers. Id deadens the senses, so he does not know what he does or speaks. Very often, under the influence of a drug, he can do shameful acts.

The mental faculties will be numbed. To forget their worries, people take drugs, but that is not the answer to their worries. The addiction can only bring moral degradation. The addict himself knows it, and so he consumes them only in secret, and no addict openly will come forward to say he is an addict. It would be disapproved by society. Socially, and addict is looked down upon, and people would try to avoid him. He would be a nuisance wherever he is at home or t work. He would bring untold misery to his friends and family, and those around him. Except in the company of a leper. His family also will share the ignominy because people will point the accusing finger at such a family.

Financially, it ruins the addict. The money would go down the drain when it could have been used for the betterment of the self or for the benefit of the family. Drug addiction is also against all religious sanctions which consider drug use to be an immoral and evil activity.

Certainly, the drugs will not and cannot bring real pleasure or add to the quality of life. If one thinks in that way, it is only an illusion. Nowadays, drugs like marijuana, opium and others are being taken by youngsters under false pretenses. It is really unfortunate if they do not realize the harmful effect. So it is best to avoid the company of those who have recourse to drugs or peddle them. Remember the physical ruin, mental upset, moral degradation, social and financial breakdown. So, for God’s sake, one should never be tempted by them.

The Evil of Drug Addiction Essay

Addiction and Addictions Essay

Addiction and Addictions Essay.


There are many factors that are damaging today’s society. Addictions are a fast growing concern, it has branched off and caused many problems whether it be related to drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, Internet, or eating. Addictions are something society faces everyday. Although there are many reasons behind why addiction are growing, and where they stemmed from, today’s society has focused primarily on how someone with an addictions problem can seek help. Also the many Gaps and Barriers around addictions are enabling people who wish to seek help from receiving it.

The increasing amounts of people with drug or alcohol addictions has increased vastly over the years especially among young teens who are still yet to be of age to buy alcohol. With addictions being a commonly known problem in society, there should be more awareness put out to people on how to help those with an addiction or more services that are equally accessible for those who wish to seek help on their addictions.

Types of Addictions

Drugs and Alcohol

Even though drugs and alcohol is widely known as bad in society, people continue to abuse it. Once on has chosen to abuse drugs or alcohol continuously they lose the ability to say “no” to another drink or ” no” to another puff of weed. Soon the person will continuously think about drinking or using drugs, and cannot wait to abuse either substance again. Generally there are two components that stem from drug addiction: physical and psychological dependencies. Physical dependency occurs when a drug has been used habitually and the body has become immune to its effects. Where as psychological dependency occurs where a drug as been used immensely and the mind has become dependant and the mind begins to become emotionally reliant on the effects. Either to feel pleasure or to relieve pain, then the mind does not feel capable of functioning without the drug.

Internet Addictions

Internet addictions not only include an over excessive amount of chat room participation, but it does not help their social or financial well being. Dysfunctional use of the Internet by children as well as adults can result in diminished participation in the family. Over thirty percent of Canada’s population has reported that they use the Internet to escape from everyday life or problems. Either by finding someone else on chat rooms with the same problems or just playing games or “surfing” the web.

Gambling Addictions

Gambling has many traumatic effects in a person’s life if it is abused the wrong way. It can cause people to loose their family; can put a person into bankruptcy, fraud, domestic abuse, theft or even homelessness. Pathological gamblers tend to be under the age of thirty. Six percent of gamblers in Canada commit suicide. The government profit from gambling in Canada is thirteen billion nationally. In Canada 340,000 people have a modern or severe case of a gambling addiction.

Eating Addictions

Food addictions affect mostly a person’s health. Food addictions lead mostly to eating disorders, such as: obesity, diabetes, bulimia and food allergies. An eating addiction is signaled the same way in our brains as an alcohol addiction. Recent studies on rats have proven that eating triggers a pleasure receptor in our brain. Ten percent of people with anorexia or bulimia are male. Eight percent of children in Canada are obese, and twenty three percent are adults.

Gaps in Services

The majority of agencies have no costs, no referrals, are wheelchair accessible and have age limited restrictions. The new internet addiction has left a gap in services, simply because it went so long before it was ” discovered”, agencies are just now figuring out ways to support this addiction. This makes it hard for someone with an Internet addiction to seek help due to the lack of support out there for the general public to use.

Barriers in Services

The majority of services are available from ages thirteen plus. Which limits “teens” under the age of thirteen with addiction problems help. With today’s society having an increasing amount of children drinking, this set’s a bit of a barrier. Since there are no programs offered for children of a young age who have already begun drinking to seek help it allows the problem to grow instead of getting to it when it is still fresh and not yet a full-blown addiction. Although many services do not offer help to those who are disabled. Addiction services are generally offered only in English, which poses a problem for those who have immigrated to Canada or simply have grown up speaking a different language. The hours for addiction centers is limited, unless it is a housing service, most programs run on the nine to five clock, enabling those who seek help after hours from getting the service that is required by them.

Local Services

Personal Development Programs:

Men’s Withdrawal Management Center

This shelter is for men going through withdrawals from drugs or alcohol. They offer a short-term residence. Also give information and education sessions for men in a safe environment. Also provide one on one counseling for individuals in purpose of defining specific needs and how to treat them. They take in men who are inebriated, who are going through withdrawals or that are at high risk of falling into old patterns. Service for this center in 7 days a week 24 hours a day, there is no fee; admission is immediate accordingly to bed availability.

Advocacy and Referral Programs

Mental Health and Addictions Services in Grey Bruce

This program also known as DART (drug and alcohol registry of treatment) is helpful for people with addictions or mental health problems locate treatment options. It also links local communities with assessment and referral programs for themselves or people that they know.

Socialization Programs

CAMH Center For Addictions and Mental Health The largest organization for addictions and mental health in Canada. Its provides research, broad-based education offerings, clinical services and health promotion activities. They provide information on the best services around, their facilities allow you to locate research resource materials, and contribute to addictions and mental health system planning. They are open Monday to Friday 8:30- 4:30, they are only partially accessible, and only provide services in English.

Rehab and Therapy Centers

FGI World

This facilities helps youth with drug or alcohol based addictions. They work with clients one on one with any problems they are having. This is a private organization, and the program is only offered through referral. The program allows you to come and go as pleased, unless you are an involuntary client. The councilors help take you through the steps that got you to where you are and also the choices that you made to get you there. Located on downtown Hamilton. The hours are 8:00am to 6:00 pm. Appointments are to be made no walk inn’s are allowed.


Throughout this report, there have been examples of all types of addictions. Showing how increasingly they are on the rise, and that day-to-day a new addiction is born. Without services being available to the new born addictions they continuously grow and there is no way to receive help for them. The amount of young teens becoming addicted to things such as drugs or alcohol has grown increasingly and services are yet to be prepared for that situation. Many of the gaps and barriers within these programs or services are what prevent people from seeking the help they need and deserve.

It has been proven that not only are addictions physical they are majority psychological and require a great deal of acknowledgement from family, friends, support groups, and government funded programs, so that people can acquire the amount of treatment necessary. With language and hours of availability being a barrier many people with problems are not getting the help they deserve, Canada needs to broaden its’ options when it comes to addiction programs, allowing twenty-four hour services for people with serious or mild conditions. If the programs continue to enable people from receiving help the amount of people with addictions will continue to increase. Being aware of the problem is the first step to solving one.

Addiction and Addictions Essay

Drug Abuse as a Social Problem Essay

Drug Abuse as a Social Problem Essay.

Drugs have been around for thousands of years. “A drug is any chemical that produces a therapeutic or non-therapeutic effect in the body (Drugs and Teen Substance Abuse 2000.)” Most drugs were first used for medicinal purposes, such as marijuana. Active substances were not extracted into drugs until the 19th century. Newly discovered substances like morphine, laudanum, and cocaine were completely unregulated and prescribed freely by physicians for a wide variety of ailments. Wounded veterans returned home with their kits of morphine and hypodermic needles (History of Drug Abuse, n.

d.) The use of illegal drugs is increasing, especially among young teens. The conflict theory of social problems states that, “society is marked by conflict due to inequalities in class, race, ethnicity, gender, age, and other divisions that produce conflicting ideas (Kornblum and Julian, 2004, 7.


Solutions to solve social problems include building stronger movements in conflicted groups and then possibly engaging in negotiations to reach accommodations. The functionalist approach to social problems, “views society as a vast organism whose parts are interrelated (Kornblum and Julian, 2004, 7.)” Functionalists believe that institutions produce patterns of deviance and they must be addressed through well-calculated social reformations. Solutions include engaging in research and interventions to improve these social institutions. There are many ideas between the conflict and functionalist perspectives on how to remedy the wide-spread social problem of drug abuse.

Substance abuse can simply be defined as, “a pattern of harmful use of any substances for mood-altering purposes (What Is Substance Abuse, n.d.)” As culture and customs change, so do the major categories of illegal drugs. The most commonly abused drugs today, in addition to alcohol, are marijuana, cocaine, opiates (including heroin and morphine), hallucinogens, amphetamines, and barbiturates. Some young people are again experimenting with psychedelic drugs like LSD and Ecstasy (Kornblum and Julian, 2004.) Teens use drugs for many reasons including curiosity, because it feels good, to reduce stress, to feel grown up or to fit in with their peers (Drugs and Teen Substance Abuse 2000.)

Many people view drug abuse and addiction as strictly a social problem. Drug abuse affects society in many ways. In the workplace it is costly in terms of lost work time and inefficiency. More than half the deaths in the United States involve alcohol, in some form, such as in homicides and suicides. Drug-related crimes can disrupt the neighborhoods due to violence among drug dealers, threats to residents, and the crimes of the addicts themselves. Also, a great majority of homeless people have either a drug or alcohol problem (NIDA InfoFacts: Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction, 2005.)

Humans have used drugs of one sort or another for thousands of years. For the past last decades, crime and drugs have been called by some, the most important problems facing this country. The full economic cost of drug abuse in the United States is estimated at approximately $70 billion annually. In so, America is actually losing money because of the use of drugs. Due to years of studies, it is proven that drug abuse costs the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (known as OECD) countries more than $120 billion per year in drug enforcement, prosecutions, prisons, prevention programmers, treatment and health care costs, and financial losses incurred from drug-related crimes. This is very bad for the community as a whole because it also affects many people. In a present study, it was hypothesized that the likelihood of recent hard drug use would be higher among arrest. They have a slight disadvantage because of low income, widespread poverty, high employment rate, limited high school graduation, numerous female-headed household, high population density, and large African-American population.

The sociological Conflict Theory holds that there are higher numbers of chronic drug abusers found in lower social classes, disorganized neighborhoods, and relatively politically powerless places. The disappearance of decent paying manual work since the early 1970’s leaves unskilled, uneducated individuals vulnerable to poverty. This is when selling drugs, an alternative to enduring grinding poverty, has been a common enough response as the income gap had widened. This has increased the violence and crime rate of society.

The Functionalist Perspective in sociology states that everyone in the society holds a position and in this position their status has a set of roles or certain behaviors that are required to perform the tasks at hand (Kornblum and Julian, 2004.) The roles consist of nurses at the medical institutions, lawyer’s at international firms or just a blue collar worker at any type of factory. For the most part, each status’ role is involved in an institution of some kind and is needed for the economy and society to function as a whole. “The Functionalist Perspective looks at the way major social instructions like the family, military, the health-care system, and the police and courts actually operate (Kornblum and Julian, 2004, 6.)” This basically means that for these institutions that are needed to fulfill these roles and duties for the economy, the roles and behaviors of employees need to evolve as a whole so that the institution can function (Kornblum and Julian, 2004.) For example, a nurse needs to know certain things about her job like what medicine can treat a certain sickness or when and where CPR is needed for a victim or if moving that victim could paralyze that person.

Sociologists say that, “when all members of the group perform their roles correctly, the group is said to be functioning well (Kornblum and Julian, 2004, 6.)” When society as a whole is said to be functioning as “one” this means that “there is general agreement about how roles are to be performed and the expectations are reinforced by the society’s basic values (Kornblum and Julian, 2004, 6.)” The main question that is asked is, “why do we have social problems if each institution has roles in the society? (Kornblum and Julian, 2004, 6) ” Many say that the main reason that functionalists believe we as a society have social problems is because our society is always changing and the society is having to adapt to the changes and when the society fails than that is when social problems exist (Kornblum and Julian 2004.) When a society undergoes changes, for example going from pre-industrial where most of the economy was based on agricultural to the industrial era where many poverty stricken’ farmers became factory workers but of those workers do not adapt, it is said that such a change can lead to crime, such as drug abuse. The functionalist sociologist says that, “all societies produce their own unique form of crime and how they respond to this change (Kornblum and Julian, 2004, 7.)”

In the past years we have been fighting a war against drugs. In the mid 1980’s, the United States adopted a series of aggressive law enforcement strategies and criminal justice policies geared towards reducing and punishing drug abuse. Changes in the federal laws required that all sentenced federal offenders were to serve 87 percent of their court-imposed sentence. Many drug offenders are subjected to a mandatory sentence based upon the type and quantity of the drugs that were involved in their arrest. According to the Uniform Crime Report, 1,532,000 drugs arrests were made in 1999, up from 580,900 in 1980. Some people think the increase in drug arrests is a good sign, but others think it denies drug users what they really need, which is treatment. No one seems to argue about the serious problem with drugs in the United States.

According to a 2002 National Survey on drug use, 19.5 million Americans ages 12 and older were current illicit drug users. 1 in every 13 adults is an alcoholic. The functionalist view is that society has norms and guidelines on alcohol and drug use. Social norms identify the appropriate use of drugs and alcohol. Prescription drugs are very functional in society because they can alleviate pain, reduce fever, and can curb infections. Even alcohol is accepted in moderation and can be consumed with meals and or celebrations. Sometimes there even health benefits, such as red wine being good for the heart. Society provides norms regarding the excessive use of drugs. Drug abuse can also occur when society is unable to provide guidelines for our behavior. Under certain situations that can be very stressful, people consume more alcohol and drugs. If people lack norms to control their behavior they are likely to pursue self-destructive behaviors like alcohol and drug abuse.

Drug abuse is one of the biggest issues in social problems. Many of the people who take drugs face a lot of problems. There are many similarities and differences between the functionalist view and conflict view pertaining to drug abuse theory. From a functionalist perspective, drug abuse affects almost everyone in our society, directly or indirectly. Seventy million adult Americans have used illegal drugs at some time in their lives. The out come from this shows that 450,000 Americans die from smoking each year. When some of the people abuse drugs, they get addicted to it and then they tend to abuse it more. Addiction is uncontrollable and lots of people face the terrible repercussions; for example, losing their job, family, friends, health and their wealth. Getting addicted to drugs gets worse because the data shows that, “97% of drug addicts never see treatment (NIDA InfoFacts: Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction, 2005.)” Research has revealed how drug abuse causes both short-term and long-term changes in brain function. These long-term brain changes are visible to scientists who can see what is going on in the brain with new scanning techniques.

These changes make it nearly impossible for someone addicted to drugs to stop using them on their own; they need to get treatment. On the conflict side, it shows that, “95 percent of untreated addicts die of their addiction (NIDA InfoFacts: Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction, 2005.)” There is a separation of classes and some of the people in society think that making people quit using drugs is their own business; they don’t have any concern for it. Some of the healthcare programs that have developed for the people who want to quit drugs show that, “for every dollar spent on addiction treatment, seven dollars are saved in costs to society in healthcare and criminal activity (NIDA InfoFacts: Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction, 2005.)” Institutions have also been created to help people who want to quit. The National Institution of Drug Abuse (NIDA) stressed that researchers have shown that there are no effective treatments that can help people stop their addiction and prevent them from using it again. Basically, the conflict perspective views drug abuse as a problem of the classes, distinctly separated due to economic standing.

There are many roles that are played in the functionalist prospective, which has lead to some of the results on the conflict side of drug abuse. For example, the government plays a big role in why their country’s population is in high or low percentage of using drug. Some countries like the United States strictly control the use of drugs by restricting access more and giving strict punishment, unlike Afghanistan, Columbia or some of the other countries. Most likely the government in these countries does not work hard on this issue because they are making profit off it or some of the big politicians are involved in it. In Afghanistan the government said that “no matter what we try to do to stop it, but it cannot be cured because drugs grow in almost 99% of the Afghanistan.” Countries like these can only try to lower drug production and abuse to a certain point, but not as low as the United States has reduces the trafficking and use of drugs.

Parents play the most important role of all. In some ways, they are responsible for why their child is on drugs, or they make it clear that drug use is unacceptable and harmful. For example, some of the parents do not care about their children and always have a negative response toward their children. This becomes stressful for the children and they start abusing drugs, thinking that it relives them but instead it makes the problems worse. They start abusing more drugs and end up in a very deep problem. On the other hand, some do mot even bother to take the drugs because their parents make it clear to them that drug use is never all right. In a recent study it shows that drug use is high among people who live in high degree of structural disadvantage, people who are less educated, low income, widespread poverty, high unemployment, high population density, low stability, and large African American population, which is why for some of the people using drugs is not a bad choice to them but it is almost like their medicine to remedy their social status.

Some of the people think that drinking alcohol is not taking a drug. It can be a drug if some is addicted to it. Data shows that, “fifty percent of the traffic deaths are alcohol related.” Teenagers have the highest percentage of drinking age in the USA because teenagers tend to drink more than the people who are over the age of thirty. This is all because teenagers are more aggressive, more imitating, more macho, and have some parents or close friends who are willing to buy alcohol for them. Many teenagers believe that alcohol and drug use is safe and are unaware of the consequences to excessive use. The average 18 years old has seen 100,000 television commercials encouraging them him of her to drink. According to the NIDA, that is why 90% of high school seniors have tried alcohol, 53% gets drunk at least once a month, 43% smoke marijuana, and about one third are smoking cigarettes.

From the conflict perspective, a teenager who loses everything early in life or never had much to begin with, tends to drink or abuse more alcohol simply because they just think that it is helping them to forget everything. That leads to more problems and these children end up committing crimes and possibly could end up in jail. According to the conflict theory, people outside of this social class and situation are unwilling to help integrate these individuals back into society. Some people don’t realize that just because of their addiction, it can take them to the point where no one can help them. Today there are about 190 million drug users all around the world, all of whom need help battling their addiction. The way to help them, however, varies between the conflict and functionalist perspectives.

In conclusion, drug abuse presents a prevalent issue in today’s society. The conflict theory of sociology states that society functions so that each individual participant and its group struggles to maximize their benefits, which inevitably contributes to social change (such as changes in politics and revolutions.) This theory attempts to refute the functionalist perspective of social problems, which considers that societies function so that each individual and group plays a specific role, like organs in the body. A conflict theorist would suggest solving the problem of drug abuse by accommodating the needs of people in the classes suffering from drug use and educating them on the effects of drugs. The functionalist theorist, on the other hand, would suggest becoming more actively involved by reforming institutions as a whole and helping to redefine the abusers’ roles in society. Drug abuse is a very prevalent problem in the United States today and sociological theories provide for many different solutions.

Drug Abuse as a Social Problem Essay