Etiology of Substance Abuse

“Drugs are a bet with your mind.” (Jim Morrison). People start taking drugs by their own choice. In early stages they feel stress-free and euphoric but as life goes on they start getting dependent on it and face difficulty to depart it from their lives. A true feelings and perceptions which abuser has for them are “I am sick and tired of being known as an addict.” (Arun et al.2004). To live with these perceptions are challenging but to abandon drugs is even more challenging for them. According to (DSM-IV), “Substance use disorders are now defined as maladaptive patterns of substance use leading to inability to control, use despite significant consequences”.

According to National Institute of Drug Abuse (2014), Substance abuse has a lot of effects on society and cause deaths. Use of substance abuse in adolescent, adults and elderly people is creating problem to fulfill their responsibilities and its consequence are very much destructive. According to Annual prevalence of drug use in Pakistan (2012) as cited in UNODC (2013), an expected 5.8 percent of the people in Pakistan utilized illicit substances in the previous 12 months. 11 % of substance utilization was present in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 6.5 % of substances used in Sindh and 8.5 % of illicit substances used in Punjab. Substance abuse is referred as terrible deed as it violets societal standards and values by accelerating savage acts. This topic has a huge impact on individual lives, socioeconomic status, health care system and their psychology. Moreover in my clinical rotation, I encounter 25 years old lady being hospitalized for attempt to suicide. During our discussion, she confesses that her husband is a substance abuser since 2 years and despite the fact she was pregnant, her husband beats him so badly that her baby abort. As this incident touches my heart which endorse me to write about this topic.

This paper would profit the readers in a manner especially to those individuals who are indulge in substance abuse so they will know what elements cause substance abuse and how its perilous impacts effects on their lives. It will also talk about, what therapies individuals can approach to depart illicit substances from their lives.

Some individuals are at higher risk of substance enslavement. No single variable can anticipate dependence on substance abuse. According to the recent Drug Use in Pakistan Technical Summary Report (2013), “an estimated 6·45 million (5·8%) people aged15–64 years in Pakistan used plant-based or synthetic drugs, or prescription drugs for non-medical purposes in the past 12 months”. (pp.2153). Alternately, there are a few causes that make an individual more inclined to it. The etiology of substance abuse in youth is divided into three classes i.e. Familial, Social, and Individual. Familial factors include childhood mal-treatment in which children could have physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect by parents so they grope dismissed and end into substance abusive behavior. According to Whitesell et al. (2013), “29% of children who experienced maltreatment participating in some level of substance”. (p.3). Additionally if any family member is abusing drugs in front of child so they imitate same behavior as they perceive parents their role model. Research shown that parental substance abuse increases genetic predisposition for substance use disorder (Dunn et al. 2002). In my opinion parental training plays an essential part in guiding child about substance abuse matters and lack of education can incline a child for substance abuse. Other factors are marital status of parents, child perception that parents approve of their substance use. (Whitesell et al, 2013).

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