Drugs and substance abuse can lead both to physical and psychological dependency. As a result, drug-addicted patients can experience various side effects depending on the frequency and amount of drugs taken at a time. Investigating patterns of behavior of alcohol and drug-addicted individuals is important because it allows a drug addictions counselor to predict possible consequences and potential risks to health.
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It has been found out that duration effect of smoking marijuana is about 4 hours (Coon and Mitterer, 2008). In contrast, large amounts of alcohol consumption can cause significant impairment of the brain, or even loss of consciousness.
Six packs of beer exceed the accepted norms for a person and, therefore, it is more dangerous for a person consume alcohol in such dozes as compared to two cigarettes of marijuana, which is accepted (Coon and Mitterer, 2008).
Therefore, as a drug addictions counselor, I would rather take control of the alcohol-addicted patient and focus on the patterns of his behavior to avoid complications and risks to the patient’s health. At the same time, the patient who smokes marijuana should also be monitored to make sure that he/she is not dependent on drugs.
Exploring patterns of alcohol consumption is helpful in understanding the main risks it can have for human health. The levels of alcohol abuse are associated with a number of disorders and diseased. In particular, such disorders as hypertension, liver disease, and neurological deficits relate primarily to patterns of alcohol consumption (Grant, 1997).
As such, there are specific signs of alcohol abuse which should be highlighted to prevent complications. The most serious concern should be with binge drinking, which is defined “…as downing five or more drinks in a short time (four drinks for women)” (Coon and Mitterer, 2008). This level of alcohol abuse is of particular attention to teenagers whose brain still develops.
In addition, binge drinking makes alcoholics be physically and psychological dependent on substance. As a result, they can face serious challenges while reducing the amount of the consumed alcohol (Craig, 2004).
The role of the counselor, therefore, is to define psychological reasons for alcohol addiction and prevent further consumption. He/she should also provide all necessary assistance to those who do not even suspect of the fact of dependency.
Although alcohol is considered as a legally permitted substance in the U.S. legislature, there should be specific regulations that could prohibit the overconsumption of alcohol in restaurants and bars, apart from the regulations imposed on drivers. In such a manner, it will be possible to reduce the number of lethal outcomes and increase the overall welfare of the population.
People consuming less alcohol will definitely be much healthier. Second, legal restrictions should also be imposed on marijuana use, unless it concerns medical treatment for specific population. Whenever the alcohol abuse is legal or illegal, the consequences of the consumption can lead to detriment of individual’s physical and psychological health.
What is more problematic is that alcohol-addicted patients cause many problems to their relatives and friends. A person who suffers from dependency can also become socially isolated.
Therefore, the legal issues should be considered in much broader context to solve the current problems with substance dependency. In addiction, it is necessary to legalize the Alcoholics Anonymous attendance for those who seeks treatment and for those who abuse alcohol regularly.
Coon, D., & Mitterer, J. O. (2008). Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and Behavior. New York: Cengage Learning.
Craig, R. J. (2004). Counseling the Alcohol and Drug Dependent Client: A Practical Approach. US: Pearson.
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Grant, M. (1997). Drinking Patterns and Their Consequences. US: Taylor and Francis.