Substance Abuse Disorder          Bianca Garcia-Zamora             Psychology 14Professor Canales28 January 2018            He always drank. Sometimes he stayedfor a while and sometimes I would not see him for long periods of time.

Sometimes he was affectionate and sometimes he was aggressive. Sometimes he wassupportive and sometimes he was irrelevant. But I know I will never forget mychildhood and how much it took a toll on our family.             My father is an alcoholic.

To say,growing up was stress and worry free is an understatement. As a child, you donot fully understand why certain situations are occurring because your parentstry to hide or cover up the truth. But once something becomes clear enough, youare able to connect the dots and recognize why it all occurred. My mom neverallowed my father to drink inside our home, and for the longest time I believedboth of my parents did not drink.

Until one night when he did not come home, wewent searching for him; later to find him belligerently intoxicated. We tookhim home that night and woke up the next day, went to church, and pretended asif nothing had happened. I will never forget this night, because it was onlythe beginning. I did not ask questions, because I knew my mom was suffering andtrying to hold our family together. I was afraid to speak and could not expresswhat I was feeling inside. Nevertheless, it was hurtful.

When things got out ofcontrol and I found it hard to be home, and feared the brokenness. But then,one day my fear turned into defensiveness and anger. Both of which I am stillworking on today. Whereas, my brother became depressed. We kept everythinginside and didn’t share too much information with others. Most people still donot know our families dynamic, but we all believe it is definitely for thebest.

Eventually, when my brother reached adulthood; he became an alcoholic,just like my dad. I was not around for this time period, because I moved out ofour home. But I know it was a stressful time for our family. Thankfully today,they have both made the decision to change their lives and are recovering.                SubstanceAbuse Disorders come with several risks and can be problematic. They cause substantialdamage to one’s life when misused.

Alcohol abuse is a nationwide issue that isconstantly being abused, seeing as alcohol is one of the most common drugs usedin the world. For some, alcohol consumption is a wayof relaxation. For others, however, alcohol used on a regular basis is adependency. Alcohol addictions take place once men are having more than twodrinks a day, and women are having more than one drink a day. Once therecommend daily intake is exceeded continuously, occasional drinking habitsshould be monitored.

Alcohol abuse is not only a form of socializing, but also apattern of drinking. Therefore, drinking excessively on a single occasion, orover time, are the beginning stages and signs of becoming an alcoholic. (American Psychological Association, 2012)             Moreover,alcohol has numerous effects on our bodies, both physically and mentally.

It isa widespread substance classified as a depressant, because it slows down ourcentral nervous system and brain activity. Therefore, alcohol abuse isconsidered a mental illness, in which may lead to long-term health complications.There is not a clear understanding as to who will suffer from this type ofdisorder, but those who abuse alcohol may originate from several factors suchas; genetic, psychological, psychological, and social circumstances.

Eachhaving an individual effect on excessive drinking. (American Psychological Association, 2012)            Onceissues from substance abuse arise, there is a sense of physical, mental, andemotional instability for everyone involved. Consequently, when alcohol becomesa regularly present component in a person’s life, it can impact alcoholism andcause a great amount of damage to the individual, as well family and friends.Ultimately, affecting ones overall health, relationships, and the ability towork. This is why there are bad short and long-term effects of alcohol usedisorders that can be devastating and may have life-threatening consequences. Theshort-term effects consist of forgetting, feeling hung over, and blacking outafter a night of drinking. The long-term effects of this disorder consist ofcardiovascular consequences, gastrointestinal problems, cancer and potentialdamage to the brain.

These harmful effects each vary per individual, but can bereduced and prevented. (AmericanPsychological Association, 2012)            There are several correlationsbetween mental health disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, along withsubstance abuse disorders. “About one in every twelve adults abuse alcohol orare alcoholics, but nearly one out of ten adults appear to have substance-usedisorder.” Many studies have been done to understand how and why people drink.Research shows, alcohol use and alcoholism can be inherited from genetics, butprimarily from distressed adolescence. These genetic risk factors may bepresent in more than one family member and contribute to the risk of developingsuch mental illnesses. It is understood that drinking problems begin amongstyoung adults between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, but may even beginas young as eleven year olds. Alcohol related behaviors may also be the beliefof an individual having an addictive personality.

Needless to say, some peopleare more likely to have different types of addictive behaviors than others. (Adelson, 2006)            Research also suggests theconsumption of alcohol has several underlying influences, in which are initiatedfrom environmental factors. It can be said, there is a high risk of mentalillness in those who suffer for childhood stress. More specifically, theseexperiences trigger and introduce the urge of abuse and eventually, thedependency of particular substances. A study was done on a population of fifthgrade to seventh grade students to assess their daily hassles, life events, andsocial support. Standardized questionnaires were designed specifically toevaluate each pre-adolescents lifestyle.

“The results demonstrated that theperceived stressed and negative life events have a harmful effect on mentalhealth.” Family problems had the utmost impact on the future use of alcoholconsumption and mental health. Thus, insinuating warning signs of the misuse ofalcohol should be considered during preadolescence and should not beoverlooked. Lastly, the social support factor was not correlated within theresults. (Courtois, 2007)              This high-risk health behavior andaddiction continues to grow and increase. Not only does the dependency ofalcohol put the individual at risk, but it also affects those who are aroundthem on a consistent basis. It has potential to create a dysfunctional familydynamic and cause destruction to everyone involved. It may also lead toseparation, divorce, and an unstable environment for children.

All of which,causes emotional and psychological damage in the future. Alcohol has a tendencyto negatively affect relationships, and cause stress-related problems amongstspouses of alcoholics. Because it greatly affects family members, children mayalso become co-dependent. Meaning, they unconsciously acquire the developmentof a parents’ abnormal behavior.

This is critical, as it can result in severaldifferent emotional problems such as depression and isolation. “A wife and often the daughter of an alcohol-dependentfather may also suffer from feelings of basic anxiety and inadequacy, which canbe denied or lessened by their feeling superior to their husband.” A specific research study assessed alcoholrelated disorders in spouses of those who have suffered from this disease. Therewere two specific areas that the study primarily focused on. They first used a questionnairethat calculated the severity of alcohol dependencies in a specific patientpopulation.

They also used another form of questions, aimed towards generalhealth, to examine the potential existence of morbidity towards spouses of mentaland behavioral related disorders. The general population that was tested waswithin an age range of twenty-three to sixty-seven, for a total of one hundredand one participants. About 31% of them were men and 43.6% were women, betweenthe ages of thirty-one and forty.

“The findings consisted of alcohol abuse by ahusband to have an effect on; marital life, satisfaction, family support, lowsocioeconomic status with psychological morbidities in spouses of men ofalcohol related disorder.” The association of men abusing alcohol and causingconflicts within their families is most definitely present, but must continueto be evaluated. In order to create effective strategies to further prevent andminimize brokenness in families, our society must establish ways to create agrounded family support system. Further research is necessary. (Dandu, 2017)            Most who struggle with substance-usedisorders are in denial and unaware that they have a problem. Each persons’recovery process can be different, as there are different styles of techniquesand tools that can be applied. Psychologists who are certified in treatingalcohol problems can be beneficial in many ways. They have the ability toassess an individual and why the problem is occurring.

“Cognitive behavioral,motivational, community reinforcement, family and couples therapy have beenfound to reduce the rates of heavy drinking.” They offer guidance, help theirpatients recover from their problem, and lessen the chance of relapsing. (NIAAA, 2017)            Toconclude, alcohol is a readily available element that can produce both positiveand negative experiences.

It is a substance that continues to affect people allover the world and thousands of people continue to die every year from alcoholrelated causes. Individuals with substance abuse disorders, more specifically,alcohol abuse, have the ability to improve their chances of recovering if helpis sought. Psychologists address the psychological issues to solve the problemsthey are having.

Results may consist of identifying their circumstances thatlead them to drinking, and learning how to cope with the matter; in hopes ofputting a stop to abnormal drinking behaviors. (American Psychological Association, 2012)References AmericanPsychological Association. (2012). Understanding alcohol use disorders andtheir          treatment.Adelson,R. (2006). Nationwide survey spotlights US alcohol abuse.

 Monitor on Psychology, 37.Courtois,R., Reveillere, C., Paüs, A.

, Berton, L., & Jouint, C. (2007). Linksbetween stress          factors, mentalhealth and initial consumption of tobacco and alcohol during pre-           adolescence. L’Encephale, 33(3 Pt1), 300-309.

Dandu,A., Bharathi, S., & Dudala, S.

R. (2017). Psychiatric morbidity in spousesof patients       with alcohol relateddisorders. Journal of familymedicine and primary care, 6(2),305.

NIDA.(2011, March 1). Comorbidity: Addiction and Other Mental Disorders. Retrievedfrom       disorders on 2018, January 27.”NewNIAAA Strategic Plan Aims to Advance Behavioral Treatments for Alcohol Abuse.

”          Association for Psychological Science,13 June 2017,      behavioral-treatments-for-alcohol-abuse.html.



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