Examine Personal Beliefs Related to Substance Abuse

Substance Use Disorder and Their Impact on Society

Substance use and abuse has significant physical, psychological, economic, and emotional impact on the lives of millions of people throughout the world. The issue is surrounded by controversy, which pertains to the extent of substance use, its causes, the importance of making some substances illegal, and myriad other issues.

Substance use disorders (SUDs) and their etiology differs for every person. Some people may use drugs as a reaction to emotional or physical pain, others may turn to drugs when they are marginalized by society as a means of escape, while others use drugs simply for the pleasurable feelings that result from pharmacological reward potential. Substance use and abuse can also be classified along a continuum as described by Doweiko (2015). While some individuals may never move far along the continuum (or use drugs socially with no negative effects) others move along the continuum to a point represented by pathological drug use. For those that move to such a point on the continuum, they may meet the diagnostic criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.) for a substance use disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 2015). This week, you will begin to examine your own understanding of substance abuse to develop a framework from which to view this problem.

Spotlight on Skills:  Develop your Critical Thinking Skills

Heads-Up to the Signature Assignment
For your Signature Assignment due in Week 8, you will select a substance that is mentioned in Weeks 3, 4, and 5 and address its psychopharmacological properties, gender, and other cultural factors affecting addiction to it, social reaction to its abuse, impact on family, and evidence-based treatment options. You will want to keep track of information and research you locate throughout the course to assist you in preparing your final assignment.

Be sure to carefully review this week’s resources. You are expected to apply the information from these resources when you prepare your assignmentsAmerican Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5) (5th ed.)The Critical Thinking Community. (2013). The critical mind is a questioning mind.

  • For this task, you will utilize critical thinking and create a blog where you will provide a self-reflection on the following questions. A blog can be used to tell a story or create a dialogue around a particular issue. You are encouraged to be creative with this assignment, as long as you address clearly the three areas on the assignment. Be sure to address the following:

    1. What is meant by the statement that substance abuse occurs on a continuum? Do you accept this idea, or do you think that there are fundamentally different characteristics that separate substance use from substance abuse or addiction?
    2. The costs of substance use disorders in society are significant. What are some of the specific contributing factors that are behind some of these costs?
    3. Do you think that the problem of substance abuse is blown out of proportion by the media, or perhaps underreported? Explain your position.

    In addition to creating your blog, submit a copy of your blog along with the link to your blog, as with all other written assignments.

    Your blog must be effectively designed and meet the following criteria:

    1. Locate a website that your professor can easily access. It is suggested that you use a free website such as http://www.wordpress.com/.
    2. Contains text that is readable (e.g., appropriate size of font, type of font, contrasts with background, contains sufficient white space),
    3. Include information within the blog that supports the assignment.
    4. Ensure all of the links are active and work.
    5. Contains at least one graphic.
    6. Contains the same template throughout with a consistent design.

    Your blog should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course by providing new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your submission should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards where appropriate. Be sure to adhere to Northcentral University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

    Length of blog: 3-5 pages.

    Resources: Use at least 3 articles from peer-reviewed journals published in the past 5 years to support your points of view. In addition to these specified resources, other appropriate scholarly resources, including older articles, may be included. Note any ways that the critical thinking module helped clarify your thoughts.

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