The level of drug and alcohol use has fluctuated, but it is now on the rise. Young people aged between 12 and 24 are most likely to use illicit drugs as compared to other age groups (Claros & Sharma, 2012). Such risky behaviors have various negative effects on this population’s physical and emotional state as well as their academic performance and overall development. Alcohol use is common among people aged between 18 and 50 years old. Fox, Bergquist, Casey, Hong, and Sinha (2010) note that emotional intelligence (EI) is closely related to people’s choices associated with the use of drugs. This paper includes a summary of two articles concerned with the link between EI and the use of alcohol and drugs.
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One of the articles deals with the association between drug and alcohol use and EI. Claros and Sharma (2012) define emotional intelligence as individuals’ ability to understand, manage, and recognize other people’s emotions and use this information to shape their behaviors and thoughts. The researchers examined the correlation between EI and marijuana and alcohol use among young adults aged between 18 and 20 years old. The study involved 199 college students who completed a number of self-reports. Several tools were used to identify the students’ EI and their habits associated with substance use. These instruments include Schutte Self Report Inventory (SSRI), the Fagerström Test for nicotine dependence (FTND), the alcohol use disorders identification test (AUDIT), and the marijuana use assessment scale (MSI). Claros and Sharma (2012) stress that there is a distinct relationship between EI and marijuana and alcohol use. The researchers assume that people’s inability to recognize and control their and other people’s emotions make them choose substance use as a coping strategy when they face some difficulties.
The other article deals with the relationship between emotional intelligence and cocaine use. Fox et al. (2010) do not simply identify the correlation between EI impairments and cocaine use but identify the elements of emotional intelligence that have an impact on the behavior of people with cocaine addiction. The participants of the study were adults aged between 18 and 50 years old. The researchers recruited cocaine-dependent people who were seeking treatment and people with no drug addiction. The study involved 72 cocaine-dependent individuals and 52 healthy control people. The major assessment tool was Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). The authors emphasize that participants with cocaine addiction tend to have difficulties with perceived stress and impulse control. Fox et al. (2010) stress that their findings can help in developing effective treatment programs for people with cocaine addiction. It is noted that such components of emotional intelligence as impulse control and stress dysregulation should receive the most attention as cocaine-dependent people need skills to manage stress.
To sum up, it is possible to note that the two articles in question provide helpful insights into the relationship between alcohol and drug use and emotional intelligence. It is clear that EI can have a positive impact on people’s behavior as individuals with impaired EI are more likely to use drugs or alcohol as compared to those who have high scores in EI. These findings can be valuable for those involved in the development of programs and policies aimed at substance use prevention. The information can also be helpful for healthcare professionals and social workers.
Claros, E., & Sharma, M. (2012). The relationship between emotional intelligence and abuse of alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco among college students. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, 56(1), 8-37. Web.
Fox, H., Bergquist, K., Casey, J., Hong, K., & Sinha, R. (2010). Selective cocaine-related difficulties in emotional intelligence: Relationship to stress and impulse control. The American Journal on Addictions, 20(2), 151-160. Web.