The Role of Environment in Drug Consumption and Addiction – Addiction Example

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"The Role of Environment in Drug Consumption and Addiction" is a delightful example of a paper on addiction. Researchers point at the environment as a major cause of drug use and addiction. Addiction occurs when a part of the brain, which is mainly responsible for relaxation and pleasure, is affected, and one is unable to control the urge to use a specific substance. The environment is an external factor that may influence an individual to behave in a particular manner. One of the major factors in the environment that sway an individual to either stay away from drugs or to use them is the family interactions and dynamics.

The parenting styles, the level of supervision, play a considerable role in children's mental health difficulties and may eventually lead to substance use. The group of friends that a young person interacts with often determines the actions one will indulge in, and in most instances, peer pressure has pulled many youths into substance abuse. Therefore, exposure to predisposing factors, such as parenting styles, peers, desire to experiment, and drugs in the environment, leads the individuals to become drug users and addicts later in their lives.

  Research points to a variety of environmental factors as the major contributors to young people's addictive behavior.   The interactions in the families, as well as parenting styles, have a major role in children's behavior. According to Thompson et al. (2009), early exposure to physical or emotional abuse often affects the children’ s ability to cope with stress later in life. This has often lead to self-destructive behaviors as young individuals try to fit in among peers. Additionally, whenever a child watches parents quarrel, fight, and eventually undergo divorce, they are often unable to come up with effective coping strategies.

They may eventually end up abusing a substance and getting addicted to drugs. Therefore, parents must understand the consequences of their actions, especially on their children. Whenever the emotional needs of the children are not catered for, they end up with a form of grandiosity, that drives them into destructive habits and may end up with psychotic disorders.   Social interactions between people who rely on drugs or have drug problems make it difficult for a new member to exorcise himself or herself from the behavior practiced in the group.

Schafer & Brown (1991) indicate that the feeling of connectedness or a sense of belonging is one of the substantial factors that lead peers into using drugs. Behavior patterns of most friends invariably affect those of others, and peer pressure is a strong force. Most people with less critical views about drugs find themselves engaging and later addicted to drugs. Schafer & Brown (1991) point at a number of factors that pull peers into the use of marijuana, among them is that the youths assume that the drug offers them perceptual as well as cognitive enhancement, they are able to relax and reduce tension,   there is social facilitation, and their cravings are met.

Whenever young people have this mentality, they eventually end up being addicted to drugs. Young people should be keen on the friends they pick to ensure that they are not exposed to negative behavior. Experimentation among young people has become normative. According to research carried out by Kaplan et al. (1986), the use of marijuana continues to be institutionalized in American culture.

This does not mean that there are no negative implications of the continued use of the drug, but most people overlook the adverse effects. The theory of deviance is one of the things that explain the regular drug use of the drug, as young people indicate that they are simply trying the drug. It is not clear why some young people only try the drug and control their drug consumption while others become addicted to it. One way this has been explained is the environmental factors at the time of the drug's first trial.

When an individual becomes exposed to the drug at a time he or she is experiencing psychological distress, for instance, when ties with significant others have been weakened, it becomes difficult to control the urge to increase the drug usage, and as a result, an individual becomes addicted to the drug use. Habitual users of a substance have a high olfactory sensitivity to it. Stafford et al. (2019) say caffeine users can recognize the coffee order faster than non-consumers.

Additionally, those consumers who are exposed to the coffee order developed a greater craving for coffee. This is an indication that individuals who consume drugs are more likely to pick the drugs' odor whenever they are in the vicinity. As a result of the order, they carve for the drug, and they may be unable to stay away from drug use. The environment, therefore, plays a huge role in drug addiction and usage. If one was to say away from drug users, it would be impossible to pick the drug odor, and as a result, the craving would be controlled.

Regular consumers of drugs tend to have enhanced sensitivity to odors associated with the drug, and the only way one may reduce the urge for the drugs is to stay in a drug-free environment. Therefore, drug dependence theory may be furthered through the use of drug-associated odors as a tool. Researchers can, therefore, use the concept of coffee addicts on other hard drugs, such as marijuana. In conclusion, the environment contributes to drug consumption and addiction.

One of the major factors in the environment is families, their relationships, and their interactions. Whenever a child is exposed to conflicts in the family, and eventually witness divorces, this child may later be unable to control his or her stress, and end up relying on drugs. In other instances, children undergo harsh upbringing, where their parents abuse them by inflicting heavy physical punishments. They may develop psychotic disorders, which drive them to drug consumption. Peer pressure is another environmental factor that exposes young people to drugs, where these people seek to experiment on drugs.

Eventually, they get hooked up and addicted. Living in an environment where drug consumers may come across the drug odor increases their craving. This may further lead them to addiction. To prevent young people from addiction, it is essential first to consider their environment and eliminate those that drive them to drug use.  


Stafford, L. D., Damant, K., Ashurst, S., & Parker, M. O. (2019). Higher olfactory sensitivity to coffee odor in habitual caffeine users. Experimental and clinical psychopharmacology.

Kaplan, H. B., Martin, S. S., Johnson, R. J., & Robbins, C. A. (1986). Escalation of marijuana use: Application of a general theory of deviant behavior. Journal of health and social behavior, 44-61.

Schafer, J., & Brown, S. A. (1991). Marijuana and cocaine affect expectancies and drug use patterns. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 59(4), 558.

Thompson, J. L., Kelly, M., Kimhy, D., Harkavy-Friedman, J. M., Khan, S., Messinger, J. W., & Corcoran, C. (2009). Childhood trauma and prodromal symptoms among individuals at high clinical risk for psychosis. Schizophrenia Research, 108(1-3), 176-181.

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