Drug Abuse Essay

1297 words - 5 pages

Drug Abuse

     After reviewing the case study provided it is very evident that Matt has a substance abuse problem. He is a college student who is struggling to find a sense of belonging. He spends a great deal of time alone worrying about the financial burden he is placing on his family. His mother currently reported concern with Matt’s drinking habits, because her husband is a recovering alcoholic. His friends and roommate are suspicious about his use of alcohol and possibly even other substances such as cocaine.

     I feel the theoretical perspective that coincides with Matt’s substance abuse is the adaptive model. His father is a recovering alcoholic, who most likely drank around his children while they were growing up. Even though Matt was ashamed by his father’s behavior when he was drinking, Matt probably saw that his father used alcohol to cope with the stress of every day life. Matt also has to deal with the stress of college and the feeling of not belonging and sees that the other students drink to have a good time and forget about their problems, however; beings he has a predisposition to alcoholism, excessive drinking could get him into trouble. He is adapting to a new environment and is coping by one of the methods he learned growing up.

     Matt’s substance that he is abusing is alcohol. Alcohol exerts a depressant effect on the CNS, resulting in behavioral and mood changes. Our textbook discusses the four phases that an alcoholic’s drinking patterns progress. The first is the prealcoholic phase, the phase in which alcohol is used to relieve the tensions of everyday life. This stage also deals with the child learning drinking habits from a parent. The next phase is the early alcoholic phase; this phase begins with blackouts and amnesia. This is when alcohol is not just used in moderation, but when it is needed by the individual. The 3rd phase is the crucial phase, where the individual has lost control of his drinking habits. These episodes can be noticed by unexplained sickness, loss of consciousness, squalor, and degradation. The last phase is the chronic phase, which is characterized by emotional and physical depletion. Depression and physical symptoms such as tremors and hallucinations are common (Townsend, 412). In low doses of alcohol it can produce a relaxation, loss of inhibitions, lack of concentration, drowsiness, slurred speech, and sleep.

     Some of the other effects on the body due to chronic alcohol use include peripheral neuropathy, alcoholic myopathy, wernicke’s ensephalopathy, korsakoff’s psychosis, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, esophagitis, gastritis, pancreatitis, alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, and even sexual dysfunction. Other negative effects on the individual include aggressive impulses, mood lability, impaired judgment, impaired social functioning, unsteady gain, nystagmus, and flushed face. Withdrawals begin 4-12 hours of cessation or reduction of...

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