Good Example Of Chemical Dependence: Crisis Of Addiction Research Paper

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Addiction, Life, Actions, Psychology, Risk, Health, Condition, Understanding

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/09/28

Chemical Dependence

There are a number of sociocultural detriments associated with substance abuse. When it used on a widespread basis, there are a number of indirect and direct financial costs. These are in addition to psychological and physical difficulty that may be associated with the health of each individual. Further, there is a clear link between addiction and volatile activity. This adds risk to the addict’s life as they may consider suicide or other dangerous activities within their intimate personal relationships. In this discussion, the dynamics of addiction as well as its defense mechanisms will be assessed. These will be placed in light of denial, displacement, rationalization, projection and repression. While these represent some of the defense mechanisms possible these five will be elucidated in terms of the overall impact on the addict and their interpersonal lives.
Today, hundreds of Americans die due to addiction and related substance abuse problems. Research has shown that the cause of much addiction is genetic. Still, a great proportion of its manifestation in an individuals life is based on the environment they are in. This condition is caused by the conjugation of biological predisposition and environmental experiences or circumstance (Kelley, 2015). These attest to the importance of cultural and societal elements in personal infrastructure. Such findings also demonstrate how the diverse nature of socio-cultural detriments can have a two-way impact in the lives of addicts. Not only can the addict contribute to problems around them, but may be influenced to continue their behavior based on the environmental circumstances caused by the same social network. This is a dynamic process and requires a clear understanding of the past and present of the patient in order to create the best diagnosis and healing model.
Life is very difficult for the families of addicts. Not only do they fear for the well being of their family member, but also for the consequences of their indirect actions. Since the lives of addicts are fraught with high emotional states and malleable mental ideas and moods, risks can increase in their households (Kelley, 2015). These psychological instabilities contribute to a sense of uncertainty within their lives and the lives of those near to them because of the fast ability for change to occur. Further, the unreliability of addicts puts great social pressure on their support systems because it requires immediate attention and care in order to cope with situations that may be putting the addict at risk.
The link between addiction and criminal activity or accidents has been demonstrated due to the highly volatile nature of many addicts. Clinicians can play a role in differentiating the capacities an addict exerts by paying close attention to the subject and analyzing their motivations (Treatment, 1999). This is one way that potential future risk can be mitigated through a continuous and healthy process. Nevertheless, there are great deals of implications for addicts while this process is taking place. Because of the predilection towards dangerous and often self-deprecating activity, it is evident that addicts need careful prognosis with attention to the nature of their motivations in order to complete and provide treatment plans that are effective and positive in their outcome.
Motivation plays a significant role in the diagnosis and understanding of treatment with patients suffering from addiction and related conditions. Defense mechanisms are commonly held throughout psychological literature and are pertinent to this field as well as others. They protect an individual from the anxiety of facing weaknesses or underlying deep-seated desires. Denial is the most significant and commonly understood of the defense mechanisms because of its prominence throughout mental and physical conditions. It is representative of simply not accepting the truth. As a technique it can be beneficial initially for trauma victims. However, addicts choose denial as a means of not incorporating meaningful information about their life into their understanding of themselves. This is dangerous because it creates a variety of long term implications. Displacement is defined as directing a feeling towards a person who is not responsible for it, or a sub-direction of emotions. This can be seen as taking stress from work and projecting it home, or in an environment where the perceived risk of sharing is mitigated. Projection arises when a specific condition or self-perception causes internal anguish (Whitbourne, 2011). This creates the underlying impression within the individual that they are somehow flawed or less than normal. These feelings are then projected to others whether the condition is true or apparent.
Those suffering from addiction may have other related conditions or have suffered extensive harm throughout their life. In these cases repression is noticeable as a way of forgetting or coping with detrimental circumstances. While this technique may be okay at first it is comparable to denial in creating long term problems if the situations are not clearly addressed and assessed in the long run. Finally rationalization represents a defense mechanism used in understanding one’s actions and situation. Many times this can manifest as a blame or guilt towards others rather than the healthy conversion process of bad thoughts into responsible and healthy understandings of the present situation (Whitbourne, 2011).
In conclusion there are a number of ways that addiction and chemical dependency can create difficulty in human life. There are immediate risks to the addict because of their physical and psychological health based on the nature of their addiction. This is tangential to the risks posed by their actions and further volatile emotional condition that can lead to suicide, tension within relationships and even criminal activity that can be harmful to others. Overall this is a hard situation for the addict’s families and peers because of the amount of assistance they must provide just to allow the addict to cope with their condition and continue treatment. After investigating a number of defense mechanisms is possible to identify the language the clinicians use in properly understanding and delineating the circumstances of each addicts journey. It is also useful in future investigations where the motivation of an individual plays a significant role in their illness and overall life condition.


Kelley J & Beresin G (2015). In Defense Of 12 Steps: What Science Really Tells Us About Addiction.commonhealth. Retrieved 14 January 2015, from
Treatment, Center. (1999). Chapter 1-- Conceptualizing Motivation And Change.Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration (US). Retrieved from
Whitbourne, Susan (2011). The Essential Guide to Defense Mechanisms. Retrieved 14 January 2015, from

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