Etiology of Substance Abuse and Addiction

Addiction is considered a significant issue to the healthiness of an individual mainly because of its influence on brain performance. Substance abuse and addiction usually start as a voluntary state of taking medication, and eventually, one becomes dependent on the drug. Scientifically, it is stated that the chemical and biological composition of the drug interacts with the neurotransmitters in the brain (Jordan & Andersen, 2017).

The interaction leads to the overstimulation of the brain cells, hence, leading to an addiction level of the substance for relief. Once the chemical compounds accumulate in the brain system, they create an environment in which the neurotransmitters adapt to reduce their energy production (Jordan & Andersen, 2017). The dependence of the neurotransmitters on the chemicals as stimulants fosters addiction. Substance abuse and addiction pose an imperative threat to the health and well-being of the individual, family members, the community, and national growth and development.

Psychological and Emotional Variables Influencing Addiction

The significant impact of substance abuse fostered the establishment of institutions that monitor the regulation of the drug-related activities, such as the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). It has adopted key concepts in approaching the victims’ situation and attaining the main objective to recover from addiction (Salehi et al., 2017).

The first approach is patient education that involves enlightening the victim’s family and friends about their role in the rehabilitation process. Further, patient education features the community’s participation in creating a therapeutic environment for effective rehabilitation. It is through the promotion of awareness to individuals that people will opt not to take the drugs because one of the major causes of the rise of victims is the lack of knowledge of the implications this medication could cause in the body system.

Moreover, the awareness campaign develops a platform of continuity for sharing information about drug addiction and substance abuse with future generations. On the other hand, NIDA has further adapted the concept of outreaching to society and community members to deal with addiction as a disease. This is a case in which NIDA strategizes on the best ways to approach the victim affected.

Therefore, the NIDA officials have devised programs that seek to foster patient outreach and, thereby, inhibit rehabilitation exercise by fostering the foundation of a relationship with the victims through creating awareness (Martinotti et al., 2018). Although the education majorly focuses on those who are not addicts, it also applies to outreach programs and concepts since the victims have to mutually understand the results of addiction and agree to undergo the program.

Institutional policies and laws significantly contribute to the development of a solution concerning substance abuse and addiction. The National Centre on Addiction and Substance Abuse is an organization that was founded by the government officials of the United States in Columbia towards devising, implementing and recommending the various ways to prevent and treat addiction as a disease (Martinotti et al., 2018). The management designed two significant approaches to be implemented in fighting against addiction as a disease. The first approach designed was a treatment plan that could be used in the treatment of the victims.

Influence of Ethnic Diversity on Drug Addiction

An effective treatment plan enshrines the integration of the dynamic environmental and individual traits. However, different victims respond dynamically to the treatment mainly because of the diverse individual traits such as ethnicity. There is a significant contrast between the ethnicity and the rate of addictions and treatment effectiveness in a distinct spectrum. In a research study, Lewis et al. (2018) argue that there is a desperate rate of addictions across ethnic groups with African Americans leading. Apart from the compulsion, the Caucasians showed lower rates of seeking addiction treatment. Although a significant percentage of African Americans opted for rehabilitation, the key participants encompassed members from the high-income social class (Lewis et al., 2018).

The highest number of addicts across the American region enshrines individuals from low-income social classes under different ethnic groups. Janicijevic et al. (2017) postulate that psychoactive substances are mainly prevalent among adolescents. The researchers further establish that socioeconomic factors contribute to the ideology of substance abuse and addictions. An adolescent becomes addicted to psychoactive substances due to various socioeconomic factors causing distress in the social relationships and mental healthiness. The common socioeconomic factors that profoundly impact the well-being of an adolescent include domestic violence, racism, bullying, parental alcoholism, and poor parenting.

Evolution of Etiologies of Drug Addictions and Substance Abuse

Over the decades, the etiology of drug addictions and substance abuse has evolved along the gradient of healthcare policy. On the one hand, the government fosters a cheaper rehabilitation aspect through the implementation of healthcare policies. On the other hand, private institutions increase the costs of better services. Nevertheless, it is essential to appreciate the core value of reducing drug addictions within the country. The medical care Act and the Health Act’s principles stipulate that all citizens have a right to medical care based on the need and not on the wealth level. Over the decades, the marginalization of low-income families led to an increase in the mortality rate because of the lack of affordable healthcare.

The American government spearheaded the health Act’s implementation that ensures equal access to medical care to all citizens despite the financial status. It is an issue that faces significant controversy, mainly because of the explosion in private medical care facilities. Neville and Foley (2020) argue that opioid addiction cases are increasing hence the importance of medical practitioners. While the private hospitals increase the treatment cost, the researchers argue that it is essential that the institutions build the capacity to promote effective treatment at affordable rates. Even with the government’s effort, the medical care and health act’s interpretation deserves an amendment that addresses the private hospital institutions’ exploitation.

There is a significant difference between substance-related and process addictions mainly because of the integral behavior of the individual. The process of dependence encompasses the theoretical construct of developing a therapeutic environment. The restructuring of an environment to accommodate the rehabilitation and recovery process of the addicts is a distinct theoretical framework from the essence of changing policies and laws (Lewis et al., 2018).

On the other hand, substance-related theories entail constructs that address the use and distribution of the drugs. Institutional and government policies such as the Health Acts foster the provision of care for the victims while regulating the distribution of drugs to the community. Although substance-related and process addictions theoretical frameworks enhance effective treatment procedure, the two variables develop dynamic levels of impact.

In conclusion, substance abuse and addictions threaten citizens’ well-being, mainly because of the dynamic impacts and prevalence rate. Despite the biological and social mainframes that indicate the high rates of dependence, all American communities should participate in eradicating addiction as a disease. There is a significant challenge in the implementation process of the rehabilitation program mainly because of the dynamic influence from the different ethnic and social classes.


Janicijevic, K. M., Kocic, S. S., Radevic, S. R., Jovanovic, M. R., & Radovanovic, S. M. (2017). Socioeconomic factors associated with psychoactive substance abuse by adolescents in Serbia. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 8, 366. Web.

Jordan, C. J., & Andersen, S. L. (2017). Sensitive periods of substance abuse: Early risk for the transition to dependence. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 25, 29-44. Web.

Lewis, B., Hoffman, L., Garcia, C. C., & Nixon, S. J. (2018). Race and socioeconomic status in substance use progression and treatment entry. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 17(2), 150-166. Web.

Martinotti, G., Santacroce, R., Pettorruso, M., Montemitro, C., Spano, M. C., Lorusso, M.,… & Lerner, A. G. (2018). Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder: etiology, clinical features, and therapeutic perspectives. Brain Sciences, 8(3), 47. Web.

Neville, K., & Foley, M. (2020). The Economic Impact of the Opioid Use Disorder Epidemic in America: Nurses’ Call to Action. Nursing Economic$, 38(1). Web.

Salehi, F., Taheri, M. M. H., Riasi, H., & Mehrpour, O. (2017). Recurrent syncope following substance abuse: A case report. Emergency, 5(1), 2. Web.

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