Week 1 Graded Writing 1
September 16, 2014
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Substance Abuse and Crime in America
Instructor: Jay Castonguay
There are four categories of drug taking behavior and these categories depend on what outcome the user is trying to achieve. One of the First categories would be Instrumental use, this more or less a prescribed use, when you have a reason for taking the medicine such as for pain relief, or possibly to cure an ailment, or to sleep better at night, these would be drugs that have been obtained legally. Drugs that are taken for a specific purpose but may not be prescribed to the user are considered illegally procured however; there will still be a desired end result. Second is Recreational use, this is where the user is not taking the drug to what our text calls a socially approved goal, no, they would take the drug for the enjoyment they will get from the effects of the drug and possibly mixed with alcohol. This is not done as a means to an end but as an end onto itself (Levinthal, 2008).
Recreational use is most generally found to fall in the description of the use of illicit drugs, by this we know that these drugs are usually purchased from a person and not a personal prescription that they are using for a specific use. There is a broad description on what is considered recreational use, smoking a cigarettes or drinking alcohol are what is termed as licit recreational use. Now if we are using street level drugs for the purpose of becoming high or to alter our consciousness in some other way would be considered as illicit recreational drug use and can be found on pg. 6-7 of our text (Levinthal, 2008).
The four routes drugs can be administered to the body are; 1) oral administration 2) injection 3) inhalation 4) absorption through the skin or membranes.
In substance dependency there are a cluster of cognitive, behavioral, and physiological symptoms that indicate the individual continues to use the substance despite significant substance-related problems. A diagnosis of substance dependency can be given to every class of substance except caffeine. Substance dependency criteria is a maladaptive pattern of substance use, leading to clinically impairment or distress, as manifested by three (or more) of the listed criteria on pg. 181 of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders 4th edition. This criterion would also include tolerance, withdrawal, or a pattern of compulsive use (First, M.D.).
Moving on to substance abuse, the criteria is a lot different then we just saw in the dependency class, with abuse the criteria only includes the harmful conclusions to repeated use. The criterion of substance abuse is a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress. This is decided by one or more of the listed criteria in a twelve month period. (First, M.D.).
Biological theories on drug abuse concentrate mainly on genetic factors such as physiological factor and neurochemical systems in the brain. With the theory of genetics being a factor in substance abuse we would have to also look at the environment and its role in this situation. Studies have shown that genetics plays a big part in this area, someone who has an alcoholic parent is more likely to become an alcoholic then say someone who has no genetic weakness in that direction.