Substance Abuse

Posted: October 17th, 2013

Substance Abuse




Substance Abuse


Substance abuse refers to the routine of using dangerous or harmful substances in which the user ingests the respective substance through methods and in quantities not prescribed for by medical professionals. Substance abuse is not only subjected to psychoactive and mood altering drugs but can incorporate alcohol and other illicit drugs such as hallucinogens, narcotics, stimulants, depressants and even glues (Horgan, 2001). The abuse of these drugs or substances leads to the dependency on the drug on the part of the victim or user. It is important to carry out extensive research on substance abuse due to its widespread proximity to affecting both young persons and adults. The research on the subject will be valuable to the victims as well as the unaffected.


Research on substance abuse has a decisive effect on the persons, potentially affecting them positively or negatively. Substance abuse persists to be one of the most severe problems affecting communities throughout the United States. The various beneficiaries of this research would be parents, students, educators and community leaders. For instance, parents would benefit from this research because they would be able to develop positive, preventive actions such as enforcing family rules. Students would also benefit since they would be able to familiarize themselves with the effects derived from abusing substances and therefore, develop resistance against peer pressure (Walter, 2002). Educators would also accrue positive results due to this research by enhancing bonding with the students in order to encourage openness from students, and possibly identify troubled students who can be potential abusers. According to Scanlon (2001), community leaders will be able to gain statistics regarding the abuse of drugs and other substances and enhancing preventive and educational measures among members of the respective community or society. However, other stakeholders will be harmed because of the research. For instance, most drug addicts feel as failures and are psychologically harmed leading them to more abuse. Pharmacists can also be harmed because most drugs that are subconsciously abused are over the counter drugs. Suppliers, manufacturers and law implementing agencies, will also be harmed because of the research since the research will also focus on the indirect causative factors of substance abuse among the research samples.

Various factors influence the research on substance abuse. The rate at which young people are abusing hazardous substances is a compelling social factor. According to Herrel (2002), the rate at which drugs are being abused by adolescents in the United States is rising every year. Substance abuse in the United States often begins through the impeccable use of addictive substances. Persons start becoming addicted to alcohol and cigarettes at a young age through routine use. Moreover, these substances are cheap and readily available. A research done by Fishburne (2003) affirms that many young people abuse worse dangerous substances such as cocaine. In his research, Fishburne estimated that 1.5 million Americans aged from 12 years are continual cocaine addicts. Substance abuse amid the youth has increased, and the age at which the drugs are being abused has reduced (Drammond, 2003). This concern influences significantly the objectives and the mission of the research on this matter.

The success of this research is not only dependent on the individual participants but also on the interest groups who benefit from the research, as well. One organization that can benefit from this research is the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIDA provides general information on all areas of substance abuse as well as the effects of substance abuse on the functioning of the body, research on addiction treatment, drug abuse statistics and prevention of abuse among the youth in the United States. Other general interest groups that can benefit from this research include schools through the implementation of prevention programs, non-governmental organizations and rehabilitation centers.

There are signature patterns that can be used in conducting the research. Based on the previous research, a number of patterns will be adopted. Some include the use of familiar data collecting methods such as interviews and distribution of questionnaires. Documentation and compilation of the research on hard copy and taped recordings during personal communication with the participants are also other patterns that will be used in the research project due to prior research influence.

The research will encompass various policies adopted from analyzing substance abuse. The policies will be centered on the curbing of the abuse of drugs among the youth and address the focal points responsible for the abuse. These policies will be subject to the proposal to the various state organizations, and they can serve as revisions for the existing policies. They will also be revised in schools and other educational facilities and if found reasonable and advantageous for the wellbeing of the students, can be implemented to further address the high rates of substance abuse.


Substance abuse has ruined the lives of many people, both young and old. It affects everyone directly and indirectly, and it has proved to be a national menace worthy of eradication. The research on substance abuse will therefore, be beneficial to everyone in curbing the vice that daunts the hopes and futures of many people for a better society. Examples of some of the policies mentioned above include adaptation of the new school curriculum in all levels of education. This includes education on drugs and substances and the creation of registries mainly responsible for derivation of substance abuse statistics among the youth. Other policies will include restrictions on media presentations such as advertisements in television programs and magazines implying the use of hazardous substances and more strict laws on the suppliers of harmful substances, especially drug peddlers.


Drammond. (2001). Alcohol and risk behaviors in teens: youth risk behavior surveillance. American Psychiatric Association. New York.

Fishburne. (2003). Effects of cocaine on chronic cocaine users. Focus Adolescent Service Report. American Psychiatric Association. Washington.

Herrel. (2002). Substance abuse treatment outcome in adolescents. American Journal of Substance Treatment in Children and Adolescents, 15(10), 4-5.

Horgan. (2001). Substance abuse: The nation’s number one health problem: key indicators for policy update. Princeton, NJ: The Foundation.

Scanlon. (2001). Effects of drug use in communities. Journal of Community Issues, 7(15), 40-46.

Walter. (2002). Drugs and physical deterioration in adolescents. Journal on Drugs and Physical Destruction Problems, 7(5), 3-12.




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