Understanding Stress and Substance Abuse Disorders

Question One

People develop stress disorders as a result of both internal as well as external factors.  Nonetheless, it is important to note that stress is all too often fundamentally internal. What this means is that stress disorders are caused by the reaction that individuals bring to a given situation, as opposed to the actual situation (Bonde, 2008). Therefore, stress is an intense emotional and/or physical response to a painful or difficult experience. There are diverse stressful events that could trigger stress disorders, such as dealing with the loss of a loved one, or the nasty of having to take a test in school. The manner in which the body’s stress response system reacts to these kinds of events could cause an increase in blood pressure, a rapid heartbeat, as well as other physical changes. This then acts as the basis for the development of stress disorders. A stressful event could also worsen a preexisting condition.

In order to prevent stress disorders, it is important to learn how to deal with stress in the first place. Engaging in physical exercise helps one to cope with stress. This takes the mind off those events that causes stress (Stoppler, 2012). It also releases endorphins that bring about a feeling of well-being and calmness. Engaging is enjoyable activities or hobbies also prevents the development of stress disorders.

Some of the treatment techniques for stress disorders include engaging in relaxation

techniques like meditation and deep breathing.  Hypnosis is also useful, as it helps patients to forget remembered events and remembers some of the unusual sensations (Bonde, 2008).

In the past, I have been faced with a number of stressors in my life, such as when I have to take my exams when I am not fully prepared. Other stressors not being able to finish assignments on time, with the deadline fast approaching.  Some of the strategies that I normally use to deal with stressful events in my life include practicing deep breathing techniques, taking a walk, and talking to someone that I trust.

Question Two

Individuals diagnosed with substance abuse disorder manifest at least one of the classic features of addiction. They include legal problems, and failures at school, home, and work. Substance disorders are caused by interplay between environmental and genetic factors.  Considering that substance disorders have been known to run in families, we cannot rule out the role of genetic vulnerability (The Management of Substance Use Disorders Working Group, 2009).  Therefore, an inborn vulnerability ranks as the most significant risk factor. A child born in a family with a history of drug and alcohol abuse is more predisposed to developing substance disorder later in life, than a child born in a family without any history of alcohol or drug abuse.

The environment in which a child is born and brought up also has an impact on the development of substance disorders (The Management of Substance Use Disorders Working Group, 2009).  For example, family attitudes and strong protective effects impacts on the child’s substance-use behavior and by extension, substance disorders. Studies indicate that the rates of use of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana are lower among those teenagers whose are convinced that their parents would be greatly opposed to their use of these substances, compared with those teenagers whose parents are least concerned with what their teenage children engages in. peer and social pressure also plays a crucial role in influencing the decisions of people developing substance-related disorders.

 Substance disorders lead to conflict in the family unit and the society as well. It may also increase cases of violence and crime rates as well. The best prevention and treatment methods for substance disorders include rehabilitation programs, school-based counseling sessions, as well as family and/or group therapy.



Reference List

Bonde, J. P. (2008). Psychosocial factors at work and risk of depression: a systematic review of

       the epidemiological evidence. Occup Environ Med, 65, 438-445.

Stoppler, M. (2012). Stress. Retrieved form http://www.medicinenet.com/stress/article.htm

The Management of Substance Use Disorders Working Group (2009). Management of

       substance use disorders. Retrieved from


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