Free «Substance Use» Essay Sample


Substance use is one of the major evils facing the youth in the contemporary society and especially adolescents. Following this point, researches have been conducted in an attempt to establish what leads to addiction. As a result, scholars came up with the gateway theory of drug abuse which is a causal effect theory. According to Kandel (2002), this theory affirms that substance use involves a successive use of soft drugs like alcohol or tobacco and marijuana which eventually results to the use of hard drugs (p.90). However, this has been facilitated by much exposure, permissiveness in the society, availability of the drugs and peer pressure alongside other related issues. Consequently, it is a major threat to a nation as a health issue resulting to a non-competitive population.

Research findings and Discussion

The continued use of soft drugs makes one vulnerable to using hard drugs that are hazardous and addictive. However, current research asserts that the commencement of ‘gateway’ drugs is linked to succeeding use of other illicit drugs (Stein et al 2010 p.84-87). It is thus a series of phases that has led to many being addicted in dangerous substance use. Additionally, according to Kaprio et al. (2010), a greater percentage of individuals addicted to drugs have had an initial encounter with smoking or taking of illicit brew. Besides, other factors that render to gateway in drug abuse include genetic and environmental factors.

Nevertheless, substance use never goes unrewarded. This is to mean that potential substance use is associated with some major life threats. As such, the youth are much vulnerable to these threats being the most addicted group. Basically, most of these threats are health related given that the body becomes intolerant. Particularly, these healthiness problems include psychiatric disorders, substance abuse disorders and HIV/AIDS, referred to as ‘triple threat’. Due to substance use, the body system becomes resistant to drugs and most victims are dying every day of HIV/AIDS. More to this point, the three health disorders are correlated in the sense that, people with mental disorders are likely to receive poor medication and are thus vulnerable to contracting HIV/AIDs and thus resort to substance abuse to curtail their depressions (Treisman, 2006, p.138).  Nonetheless, such persons tend to develop drug abuse disarray and are thus highly depended on drugs.

Evans & Sullivan (2001) use the term ‘dual diagnosis’ in defining the individuals who suffer from both substance abuse disorder and psychiatric disorder. As such, they are termed as having a double problem hence experiencing a binary management challenge (p.1). However, ‘dual diagnosis’ can similarly be stated as co-occurring conditions. Therefore, the two terms are used in reference to the same condition. Immediate measures need to be taken for persons with co-occurring conditions or dual diagnosis otherwise they are at a risk of increased danger.

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Surprisingly, individuals who have developed health disorders as a result of substance use do not seek medication until the conditions have become worse. Furthermore, most of them have to be taken for treatment once people have identified serious disorders facing the substance use victims. However, Evans & Sullivan (2001) have identified four scenarios in which people with dual disorders may seek treatment. Firstly are those people with severe psychiatric disorders and high substance severity as they require disaster attention and care. Secondly, are conditions in which one has high psychiatric severity and less rigorous substance use. The other condition is that of non severe mental disorder and high dependency on substance use. Finally, is the case whereby the victim has no severe health condition related to substance use (p.80).

Debatably, workplace has been an environment filled with people working under the influence of alcohol. Seemingly, workers usually take alcohol due to pressures and depressions in the workplace alongside influence by their colleagues. Additionally, there are those workers who take alcohol for relaxation and for them it works better motivating them to work and deliver good results. On the other hand, most companies have laid down policies and procedures for work place. As a matter of fact, alcoholism disqualifies most candidates from being employed. This is to mean that, professionals are not expected to work under the influence of alcohol.

Apparently, drug taking in the workplace negatively affects the productivity of employees. Following this point, taking alcohol from the office is un-ethical behavior. Besides, working under the influence of alcohol can lead to health related issues and even injuries which results to lowering the performance of the company. In an attempt to maintain discipline and maintain focus on the company’s goals and objectives, managers and directors regulate the behavior of employees.

With increased substance use, psychiatrics and substance abuse counselors have a greater task in advancing relations with professionals of related fields. This is because of the major health issues resulting from substance use that make people to seek for medication. However, such people will need counseling as they seek medication, this is because, an inspirational counseling motivates an individual making him or her recover fast. As such, substance abuse counselors assist individuals in handling dependence disorders.

The concept of motivational interviewing was introduced in an endeavor to help substance use victims transform their conduct. Accordingly, Rollnick, Miller & Butler (2007) describes the concept of motivational interviewing as ‘a skillful clinical style for eliciting from patients their own motivations for making behavior changes in the interest of their health’ (p.6). They further explicate some guiding principles to the motivational interviewing which include; resisting the righting reflex which entails restraining what seems to be the correct thing to do. The second principle is to appreciate the patient’s inspirations, that is, their values, anxieties and drive for change. Thirdly is paying attention to one’s patient and offering solutions to their cares. The last principle is empowering one’s patient whereby you allow them to participate in their own health care (Rollnick, Miller & Butler, 2010, p.9-10)


The initial use of soft drugs has seen majority of adolescents addicted in the use of hard drugs which eventually expose them to health related problems. Actually the life of many youths is at steak due to the ‘triple threat’ which entails mental disorders, HIV/AIDs and high substance severity. Besides, it is amazing how most individuals fear to seek medical attention even when their health is deteriorating until they are at a worse condition. Additionally, substance use has led to many school drop outs with increased social crimes due to idleness. Nevertheless, substance abuse has found its way to the work place where it has affected the productivity of employees and the company at large. Nonetheless, measures have been established in companies to reduce negative effects associated with taking of alcohol at workplace. It is amazing how most individuals fail to seek medical attention even when their health is deteriorating until they are at a worse condition.

Finally, substance use counselors have a big task in helping drug addicts and assisting them to be useful citizens by giving up their substance use practices. Besides, they help them cope up with their health conditions through self inspiration in an attempt to prolong their life. Moreover, they help them by creating an environment for their involvement in solving their substance use disorders, a model referred to as motivational interviewing.


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