Substance Abuse Essay

Submitted By jalijungen
Words: 450
Pages: 2

I am not one to argue that there is a biological and/ or genetic influence on substance abuse and addiction. I personally feel that by doing that we are providing abusers and addicts with a scapegoat and taking away from the belief that all behaviors are learned. I am a firm believer that all behaviors are learned and not just those that society does not agree with. However, I do agree that youths that grow up in homes where a substance is being abused is the norms are at a disadvantage. However that is not the same as believing that biological and genetic influences exist.
However, I am willing to argue that overall geographic environment is a major influence. According to Dr. Ken Winters, “It is almost impossible to intervene here unless the youth is removed from the environment that brought him into conflict with the juvenile justice system in the first place (e.g., the home neighborhood).” Demographics are broken down even to the speed limit so don’t be naive. As Hawkins and Fitzgibbon (1993) stated the socioeconomic level of an adolescent’s community is one important determinant for his risk of substance abuse. What they explained is that rates of substance abuse are greater in areas where alcohol and/ or illicit drugs are more easily accessible and where local norms are more tolerant of their use. (Hawkins & Fitzgibbon, 1993). They even argue that there is a famine of positive people for the young people to look up to. According to Hawkins et al. (1993) youths that identify with individuals engaging in substance use and criminal activities are more likely to engage in these activities themselves. In my professional opinion that is different from a biological or genetic influence; as evidenced by the homes that they are referring too