Adult Development and Substance Abuse

Last Updated: 25 May 2020
Essay type: Process
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This research paper has been compiled through comprehensive collection of information from five different sources.  The area of substance abuse and its impact on the development progress of an individual has been explored.  This covers the range of personal capacity from social to economic spheres.

Serious effects have especially been observed at the work place where by unlike the great need of talent competency required by the advance in technology and globalization, substance abuse is pushy behind the role of individuals in the economy.

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The substances in question are used for recreation purposes in some instances and for medical purposes in some other instances.  The moderate uses of some of the substances are therefore beneficial to the user while some should never be used at all.

Continued and the over usage of these substances consequently becomes dangerous to the health of the user and consequent performance capacity of the user.  Examples of the substance in question with respect to this paper include “marijuana, hashish cocain or crack, sedatives, tranquillizers, stimulators, analgesics, tobacco”, among others (Finn & Hall, 2004, 34).

The abuse in question refers to the use of those substances in the following ways:-

Not for medical use, meaning when the user of the substance uses a substance with medical use, but against the purposes; on a personal prescription and without the doctor’s prescription.  The substance may also be used in prescription that are higher than what the doctor has prescribed in terms of quantities or frequencies (Frone, 2006).

Effects of substance Abuse

When a substance is wrongfully used in a way such as the one described above here, the substance becomes illicit whose effects includes impairment which has been found to occur frequently.  In the process of substance use and impairment, gender has been proven to play a vital role.

  As regards gender men have been proven to be victims of abuse and impairment more than women.  Women are only victims in most of the circumstances when there is a secondary factor leading to substance abuse.  Race does not play any factor in drugs abuse.  Education and age are very significant factors of abuse having been proven to posses an inverse variation.

The “executive cognitive functioning of the individual and executive cognitive impairment is related to substance abuse” (Frone, 2006, 89).    The most prominent effects of substance abuse is exhibited in individual in the form of “anti-social characteristics and social deviance which are expressed in the form of anger, depression temperament, antisocial personality, conduct problems” among others (Frone, 2006, 89).

Substance abuse has been observed to be promoted by the individual’s high levels of tendencies to respond to rewards and extremely low levels of tendencies to respond to punishments while disregarding social norms.  The abuser of the substance tends to be attracted to the salient more current and instant rewards and ignore the less salient future concurrent effects (Gallop, Crits- Christoph, Ten Have, Frank, Griffin & Thase, 2007).

With regards to alcohol abuse excessive drinking is out of excitement associated with the habit.  The drinker imagines that pleasure is derived when poisoned by alcohol.  Alcohol problems tend to be principle causes of social deviance rather than alcohol use.  To become excited alcohol use is more prevalent than alcohol abuse (Gallop, Crits- Christoph, Ten Have, Frank, Griffin & Thase, 2007).

Time is also important when it comes to alcohol abuse.  The responsibilities expected of an individual are interfered with when alcohol is taken at the wrong time.  Heavy alcohol intakes are bound to create alcohol problems.  The use of alcohol to excessive extremes affects the individuals self control.  Peer groups are also very influential towards the bad behaviors of alcohol abuse (Jackson, O’Neill & Sher, 2006).

History of the family with respect to alcoholism also plays a significant part in areas of measures of seeking for excitement, Social deviance, alcohol related problems and reduced  fluency in speech expression.     The intelligence quotient of the alcohol abuser is also drastically lowered.  The health of the affected person deteriorates, the levels of productivity decreases and the safety of the respective person is greatly undermined (Finn & Hall, 2004).

The current global economic position requires people to be effectively competent in their respective talents.  This goal is defeated by the abuse of these substances.  The substance when abused poisons the user and this is intoxication.   The abuse has some adverse negative effects on the functioning of the brain of the affected individual which is impaired.  The impairment brings about some absurd behaviors and some changes in the individual.

As the individual develop the habit of use of a substance, the body system devises some tolerance to the effects of the substance in which case the individual adapts to the use of the substance.  The body is in a position to cope with some specific doses of a substance.  The use of the substance beyond this adapted dose is tantamount to the abuse of the substance.

The abuse is specifically detrimental to the workers who extend the impairment to their workplace. In the work place, the quality of work is negatively affected by substance abuse.

The environment at work develops adverse physical and psychological attributes as a result of illicit drugs by employees (Wiesner, Windle, & Freeman, 2005). The abuse of drugs is bound to generate stress at work.  The extended use of illicit drugs in turn is responsible for very poor productivity levels at the work place.

The personality of the individual is also adversely affected, with the individual acquiring some personality traits which are guided by the specific type of substance dependence.

The personality traits exhibit some similar characteristics across substances that are usually abused High degrees of negative emotionality are directly related to alcohol use disorders, “high extraversion and low levels of conscientiousness” (Grekin, Sher & Wood, 2006, 79).

On the other hand the extended use of cannabis sativa creates some “low extra versions on one hand and a high degree of openness to experience on the other hand” (Grekin, Sher & Wood, 2006, 77).    The personality of any individual has some positive correlation with the antisocial behavior and the abuse disorder associated with the use of a specific drug.

There exists a significant association of personality and substance dependence and the ability to control behavior of negative consequence to the society.  The most affected group in the society by substance abuse ranges from adolescence to the early adulthood, and a single behavior factor is very influential towards alcohol dependence, dependence on drug and the ‘antisocial personality disorder which is externalizing in nature’ (Frone, 2006,198).

The abuse of these substances have been observed to yield such bad behaviors as skipping school, running away from homes, cases of shoplifting, thefts, at work, all these being considered to as deviant and aberrant behaviors.  These behaviors have been mostly observed in men more than in women, and therefore   gender is very significant in novelty seeking and substance abuse.

The abuse all result to depression which in turn results to job stress and poor productivity.  This creates some high degrees of boredom at the job, the variety of skills deteriorates, and autonomy becomes significantly low.  There has been reported a linear corelatiship between binge drinking and the job stress, also the abuse of drugs and heavy drug use are positively correlated with stresses at the job (Jackson, O’Neill & Sher, 2006).

This in turn results to psychological problems at the work place which is a contributor to risky health environment which is a result of” aversive work conditions” (Frone, 2006, 123).     Some of these conditions include noxious environments, insecurity in the job, being treated in an unfair manner, poor pay lack of benefits and promotions in the work among others.  All these become dangerous work conditions.

In conclusion, the substance use Disorders have therefore been seen to have negative affectivity.  Some personality traits have also been found to be differentially correlated to the dependence symptoms associated with the use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco.

With respect to abstinence from the abuse of these substances, gender has also been found to be very significant with men being found to have higher oscillations between use and abstinence as compared to women.    Time required for the transition between substance abuse and abstinence is very important as the transition cannot be achieved overnight.  This is quite important since the process goes through relapse to recovery.


Emily R. Grekin, Kenneth J. Sher, and Phillip K. Wood (2006), Psychology of Addictive Behaviors: Personality and Substance Dependence Symptoms, Vol. 20, No. 4, 415–424

Kristina M. Jackson, Susan E. O’Neill, and Kenneth J. Sher (2006), Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology: Characterizing Alcohol Dependence, Vol. 14, No. 2, 228–244

Margit Wiesner, Michael Windle, and Amy Freeman (2005) ,Journal of Occupation Health Psychology: Work Stress, Substance Use and Depression Among Youth Adult Workers, Vol. 10 No.2, 83-96)

Michael R. Frone (2006), Journal of Applied Psychology: Prevalence and Distribution of Illicit Drug Use in the Workforce and in the Workplace, Vol. 91, No. 4, 856–869.

Peter R. Finn and Julie Hall (2004), Journal of Abnormal Psychology: Cognitive Ability and Risk for Alcoholism, Vol. 113, No. 4, 569–581.

Robert J. Gallop,Paul Crits-Christoph, Thomas R. Ten Have, Jacques P. Barber Arlene Frank, Margaret L. Griffin, Michael E. Thase (2007), Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology: Differential Transitions Between Cocaine Use and Abstinence for Men and Women, Vol. 75 No 1,95 -103.

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Adult Development and Substance Abuse. (2016, Jun 16). Retrieved from

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