Sample Psychology Paper on Factors That Influence Addiction

Factors That Influence Addiction

Question 1

Substance abuse is a chronic, relapsing disorder influenced by numerous interacting biological, psychological, and social factors (Serin, 2005). According to Stone (2012), understanding the risk and protective factors associated with emerging adult substance use problems is an important step in developing interventions targeting those problems. Static factors refer to things that are related to risk but cannot change, such as the age of the addict when he/she first abused drugs (Serin, 2015). On the other hand, dynamic factors are the things that can be changed with the changes being associated with changes in risk, for instance, treating the addiction.

From a treatment perspective, static and dynamic factors can be useful in identifying, intervening, and creating treatment plans for addicts. Furthermore, withdrawal symptoms of substance abuse vary based on the substance used, but some cues may be noted, such as irritability, anxiety, depression, insomnia, panic attacks, disorientation, suicidal behaviors, and restlessness.

Question 2

In today’s society, youths, especially those in campus, face numerous risks such as early pregnancies and drug abuse as they grow up. The patterns of illicit substance misuse developed in youth are similarly associated with continued use in adult life (Hodder, 2011). Addressing these risks before they become problematic can be a challenge to them. Protective factors refer to positive influences within a young person’s environment, such as family, school, and community connection (Hodder, 2011). These positive influences can help cultivate resilience in the students which will help them in making good decisions. As a nurse/school counselor, I will implement strategies and programs such as forming an advisory group to start and guide the addiction intervention, monitoring, and reviewing the action plan implementation and effectiveness. Additionally, I will perform regular student counseling sessions to create awareness of the problem of substance abuse and offer support and help to students who are addicted to substances.

To implement the strategies, programs, and interventions, I will work hand in hand with the students and the school board to not only create awareness on substance abuse, but also offer support to those with addiction problems. The probable outcome to expect is a positive response and attitude by the students and school board alike towards the initiative to tackle substance abuse in the school.

Question 3

Parolees and probationers are alike as their freedom is conditional; both groups must meet certain conditions to avoid incarceration or re-incarceration (Serin, 2015). Often, treatment for drug or alcohol dependence is one of those conditions (Serin, 2015). As the addiction counselor in the Probation office, I will work closely with the medical team to ensure that we identify and treat withdrawal symptoms, provide substance abuse education and counseling, offer relapse prevention services, and that the probationers receive full treatment services before reintegrating with society. Moreover, the probationers will be under intensive supervision with frequent random drug tests and community service being the norm.

The level of treatment services recommended for the probationers will be individualized and based on a multidimensional, diagnostically driven assessment; clinical judgment; and availability of resources within the system (Serin, 2015).

As the addiction counselor, I will work hand in hand with the medical unit to ensure that symptoms of withdrawal are identified and treated. By doing so, we will be able to intervene and implement a treatment plan that will help to mitigate dynamic risk factors for substance use among the probationers.



Hodder, R. K., Daly, J., Freund, M., Bowman, J., Hazell, T., & Wiggers, J. (2011). A school-based resilience intervention to decrease tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use in high school students. BMC public health, 11, 722. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-11-722

Serin, R., & Lowenkamp, C. (2015). Selecting and using risk and need assessments. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2005). Substance abuse treatment for adults in the criminal justice system.

Stone, A. L., Becker, L. G., Huber, A. M., & Catalano, R. F. (2012). Review of risk and protective factors of substance use and problem use in emerging adulthood. Addictive behaviors, 37(7), 747-775.