Essay on Correlation Between Drug Abuse and Interpersonal Relationship

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Boston College
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The issue of drug abuse is currently the origin of issues for todays society. Many people are engaging in drug abuse and are currently going through addiction. Interpersonal relationships play a critical role in individual drug and substance abuse. It is often clear that those with the healthy interpersonal relationship will rarely engage in drug abuse. Those with a family and friends that support them and connect with them on a personal level have a more positive outlook on life and will rarely engage in drug abuse and eventually go into addiction. In many instances, young people with issues in their families including violence will be most vulnerable and will form a greater part of the population of those in addiction. Society and the mental health sector is currently working to address the issue of drug abuse and addiction. It, however, seems like the measures put in place may not be working as expected. No matter how hard everyone fights drug abuse, and addiction more and more people are slowly being pulled into the vice. It means that a different perspective into addressing the issue needs to be taken.

The video Why The War on Drugs is a huge failure gives a clear depiction of the dynamics that currently surround the war on drugs and addiction. In the video, an experiment is conducted on rats where one is put in a cage with water that has heroin and another container with pure water. The lone rates survive on the water with heroin gets addicted until it dies. However, Dr. thinks otherwise and develops a rat park for the rats where they can freely interact with each other, play and mate. These rats rarely drink the water with heroin and those who do, do not get addicted. Similarly, the American soldiers who went to Vietnam would abuse heroin while on the battleground. Therefore, people thought that when they came back, they would be addicted to the drug. However, when they came back, their addiction did not continue. The experiments proved that the traditional thought of people concerning drugs and addiction was all wrong.

One of the needs people have according to the Maslow's hierarchy of needs is the need for belonging and love. People have the desire to have a sense of belonging and associate with a group or community. Human beings will have the desire to love and be loved. Therefore those who engage in drug abuse may lack the ability to fulfill these needs. In many instances, they feel isolated and have no one to closely associate with. Just as is clear in the video when people and organisms at large are in the company of those they are free with and closely associate with their focus will be on developing their relationship and interactions with those around them. It is evident to the soldiers in that when they come back from the war they do not continue to abuse drugs as many would have expected. Their drug use ends the moment they are reunited with their families.

The concept of the altered state of consciousness shows that people will choose to escape the self also to escape the difficult issues they are encountering. For instance, such in individuals will resort to drug and alcohol abuse. Such actions act as a form of shelter to help them escape the trouble and difficult situations they are facing. Just like in the video, the first rat was lonely and therefore resorted to using the water leased with heroin to deal with boredom and being away from other rats that could interact with the one. The soldiers too faced a similar situation. They left the comfort of their homes to go into a stressful and dangerous war zone. Therefore, to make it in this new and stressful environment, they resorted to using heroin to escape the harsh reality they were facing. They were lonely in combat and lacked the basics of normal interaction. They were often on their feet fighting and therefore encountered difficult situations and environments including death, and loss of limbs or injury. To handle this, the heroin they took would take them away from it all for a short while, and this feeling was worth it while it lasted.

I believe that the notion developed by Dr. Bruce Alexander in his experiments with the rats should be the way society views the issue of addiction. In many instances, those who have the addiction are often isolated and stripped off of any form of help they need to recover. They do not have the social support and interpersonal relationships necessary for recovery. At the end instead of them recovering from addiction when exposed to the treatment, they go back into it because of how society treats them. It is, therefore, necessary to provide a form of rat park for those in addiction. That is an environment where they feel loved and supported. Where they easily interact with others and are given the necessary social and psychological boost to make it through their recovery process.

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