Abnormal Psychology Paper(Alcohol Abuse Substance-Related

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Abnormal psychology (alcohol abuse substance-related

Alcohol and substance abuse


Abnormal Psychology is that branch of psychology that deals with abnormal behavior and psychopathology. A wide range of disorders are covered in this regard which include ranges from obsession-compulsion to sexual deviation to several more. Alcoholism and substance abuse lead to changes in the behavior of people. Most human behaviors fall on the curve that is called the Normal Curve. On this bell shaped curve, the cluster of people at the highest point shows the average. People falling on either of the far sides are considered abnormal (Edberg, 2009).

Alcohol abuse and abuse of substances such as marijuana, cocaine etc. is generally characterized by a maladaptive pattern of abuse which leads to distress or impairment. Recurrent use of alcohol and substances which result in the failure to fulfill role obligations at home, school or work are generally classified as addictions. Inability to perform normal tasks in the course of a certain time period in which these substances are in your system signifies abuse. The symptoms of alcohol abuse and substance abuse are different depending upon the type of the substances and the level of consumption and their frequency. Taking the example of cocaine users, a common symptom, as investigated, shows high levels and frequently occurring depressions. Different characteristics are exhibited for different substances (Edberg, 2009).

Causes of Alcohol and Substance abuse

There are several factors that may induce alcohol and substance abuse. In many instances, the initial motif for starting to consume these substances is experimentation. In most cases, there is a snowball effect due to which this develops into a full addiction. The factors that lead to such abuse are members of the immediate family who may be alcoholic or drug abusers, peer pressure at work or in student life, having depression or anxiety disorders, having unregulated or easy access to alcohol or banned drugs, low self esteem or problematic personal life, excessive stress or living in a social setting which has high social acceptance of alcohol or drug abuse (Hootchew, 1998).

Let's take the example of Mr. W, a 53 year old Chinese man with a history of alcohol abuse. Mr. W was born in China and his intake of alcohol started in his teens and increased dramatically. By the time he reached his mid 30s, he was consuming half a liter of whiskey in a day. He claimed that he did not have any adverse effects on his work or personal life. After he moved to New York City, he complained of getting a hard time from his boss and failing to perform well on the job. He felt exhausted and overwhelmed by his job. Mr. W increased his alcohol intake to 750 ml daily. He claims to be unable to fall asleep without alcohol consumption. He has a high level of stress. He claims that he is unaware of the fact that he physically and verbally abuses his family while he is intoxicated (Hootchew, ...
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