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This essay focuses on a brief overview related to substance abuse disorders with a specific reference to the case of Betty Ford. It addresses biological, psychological and social factors associated with substance abuse disorders. Many documented cases of substance abuse exist. People use drugs and substances for various reasons. Unfortunately, continued use of these substances lead to abuse and addiction.
Today, however, Americans must face many increasing number of substances available for abuse as shown through the DSM-IV-TR. There are commonly abused drugs and other substances classified under different categories. Drug use and abuse could be understood from effects, expenses and the ease of access (Meyer, Chapman, & Weaver, 2009).
Both dependence and abuse reflect abnormal behaviors related to substance abuse. Alcohol has been the most abused drug, and it remains readily available in any society.
Despite widespread abuse of substances, there are treatment options for addicts as depicted in the case of Betty Ford.
Genetic predisposition is responsible for alcoholism. This was perhaps a major contributing factor in the case of Betty.
Betty’s father and brother were alcoholics. This was the case of genetic predisposition. Researchers have demonstrated that nearly 40% to 60% of risk for alcohol abuse results from genetic. Few researchers, however, concur that a single gene could be responsible for alcohol dependence or genetics alone could drive a person into alcoholism. Possibly, several genes together increase chances of alcohol abuse and dependence.
Betty had a taste of alcohol at a tender age because of her mother’s tendencies of using bourbon to control ailment.
In the case of Betty, several psychological factors were responsible for her addiction. As a child, Betty did not receive adequate support from her father because of his constant travels and death. She also spent several lonely years with her children only because of her husband’s absence from home. Betty had to cope with media spotlight and related events for several years. This situation could have contributed to overwhelming stress.
Betty’s condition escalated after the defeat of her husband when they moved to a new home. Moreover, she was almost alone with fewer friends. Loneliness and isolation drove Betty further into alcoholism.
Betty was exposed to peer pressure and dysfunctional social habits, which shaped her drinking habits and addiction. She was partying at local bars. In addition, she had weak intrafamilial relationships with her father and left home at the age of 20 years. Meyer et al. (2009) noted that adolescent with weak relationships with their fathers faced greater risk of alcohol and substance abuse.
Betty was a first lady who had to attend several social events and cocktail parties. Later, Betty developed antisocial tendencies by declining social invitations and had only fewer friends from the past.
Scientists point to several traits as predisposing factors to alcoholism.
This essay has explored substance abuse disorders by focusing on the case of Betty Ford. It seems that several factors such as biological, psychological and social factors were responsible for Betty’s addiction. In fact, behavioral scientists have noted that many traits and a combination of traits could influence an individual’s propensity to abuse alcohol.
Today, alcohol and other substances remain widely accessible, affordable and abused. These cases reflect dependence and abuse of alcohol and other substances. Fortunately, there are several treatment options, which therapists could apply to manage addiction. The case of Betty shows typical drinking patterns and potential interventions.
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Meyer, R. G., Chapman, L. K., & Weaver, C. M. (2009). Case studies in abnormal behavior, (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon/Person Education, Inc.