What factors influence the onset of drug addiction?

Familial Risk Factors Favoring Drug Addiction Onset

Introduction:

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The purpose of the study is to indicate the factors that are suspected to be affecting children for drug abuse. The author Zimic and Jukic have concluded their work Familial Risk Factors Drug Addiction Onset which is a sound research based on a sample of 146 addicts and 134 control subjects. The hypothesis of the study is drug addiction might surely be seen from parental standpoint. The hypothesis is taken on the basis of past results, different case studies, and research papers on the subject of drug addiction. The authors seem to have biased thinking towards drug addiction related with parents and the child’s upbringing. Though there is a direct relation between a child and parents but it is not certain that they are the reason for this drug abuse. The paper, however, discusses very little about other factors including peer groups, friends, social environment and other factors.

According to the authors, drug addiction is most prone to children in their teen age for which surveillance from parents is much required in order to have a look at their daily routine, the friendships they have, and relations with the people surrounding their children (Zimic and Jukic, 2012). The behavior of overlooking a child in the teen age causes serious troubles to let them astray from their supposed pattern of life, a happy and healthy life, to a drug addicted life which remains for lifetime. These are the factors, the major points and real time facts which have been discussed in the study along with the familial factor that, according to authors, make drug addiction more stream line for a child who doesn’t have enough knowledge for outside world in the teen age.

Methods:

The study was conducted in time interval from 2008 to 2009 in which they took a sample of drug addicts and normal (non-drug addict) people from the population. The total number of drug addicts was 146 in which there we 92 men, 51 women and 3 other people who didn’t specify their gender but their age was between 18 and 46 years. The survey was done using questionnaire, having around 67 different variables involved in the questions. This study was taken while the addicts were undergoing through the recovery process in different psychiatrist hospitals. The sample for control group or the normal group had a total of 134 people of which 88 were men, 45 were females and 1 of the 134 people didn’t specify the gender but the age of that individual was between 17 and 44 years of age.

The study is pure quantitative in nature and is experimental since individuals from both the groups are being tested using questionnaires, asking their school background, age, sex, place of birth, place of birth and more such questions that the researchers found important to consider so that they may have complete insight of the subjects. Though the questions asked were qualitative because of the fact that additional information regarding the background of the subjects was needed. The questions comprised of open ended and closed ended questions and also had given the subjects with an option “other” so that if they had any other answer to the question, they could put that in the “other” option. The purpose for this additional option was to have complete knowledge of the subject without missing any single piece of information. The questionnaire were given to the subjects in hand rather using any other medium such as mail or email. Open-ended questions were analyzed by the researchers categorizing them as either positive, negative, or neutral. Statistical software, SPSS, was used to analyze the research questions and get more appropriate findings. The procedures chosen for the research were valid, appropriate and accurate enough to achieve suitable results, those which were statistically right.

Ethical Aspects:

The researcher took into account all aspects of ethics and other factors that should be taken care of while performing a research on such sensitive cases where medical teams, hospitalized patients; more importantly patients those who have imbalances psychologically are involved. The ethical criteria were fulfilled before performing the research. The approval was taken by the research team from Board of Ethics of University Medicine in Zagreb and Board of Ethics of Hospital Vrapce and Clinical Hospital Sister of Mercy. The research team did not only fulfilled this aspect of ethical moralities but also attached cover letters with the questionnaires to all the subjects that explained the purpose of the study. They took the information from the subjects after providing a notice to all the subjects that the information provided will be held hundred percent confidential and this the reason why the questionnaire did not have questions such as name, date of birth and like.

Results:

The results of this study were taken out in several categories and in different aspects of the subject’s information received. In the familial sociodemographic feature aspect, the researchers did not find any statistically sound differences such as the subjects mostly came from three-five members family, they were firstborns among the siblings and like. The only difference in this aspects was found in the parent’s marital status. In the familial development feature aspect, significant differences were recorded in further several aspects such as: separation of parents before the age of seven, parental divodrce or death of one of parents in early childhood or adolescence, psychological stress or trauma experienced in the life, parental surveillance, and parental support. In the familial interaction features aspect the results were more intense and shocking differences were found between the two samples. The results for this aspect were taken further in to: Unfavorable emotional relationship with the parents, especially with the father throughout the childhood and adolescence. People from addicts had favored their mothers when they were asked to choose from their father and mother for emotional attachment. Most of the non-addict subjects also favored their mothers over fathers when asked for attentiveness of their parents.

The results showed that addicts had more intense and distant relationship with their fathers because of the fact lack of appropriate communication in the early childhood. Even in the case of lack of communication with the mother, the subjects favored their mothers to have better level of understanding and that the mothers were more caring and attentive towards their child than fathers. The results also concluded that addicts were of the view that the decision-making at home were eventually made by their fathers while mothers were given less or no chance to make decisions. While on the other hand, the control group had a different point of view. The results showed that the control group had answered in the favor of both the parents that the decision is made considering the point of view of the parents. In the familial sociological features aspect, results showed huge differences between the two subject samples.

Discussion and Conclusion:

The study was taken out in the normal environment without the subjects knowing that they were being experimented. The research outcomes suggest that early childhood relationships with parents, especially with the father had more adverse effects on the lives of their children. The results showed the statistically proven, the addicts had more complaints regarding their father’s attitude and lack of attentiveness and emotion intent during their childhood and adolescence which eventually resulted in non-compliance to surveillance during the teen age, emotional relationship, and openness to freedom of speech. The addicts who were sampled were more inclined towards their mothers than fathers because of their caring attitude, level of interest in the child and degree of emotional intent. On the other hand, the control group had more of a balanced relationship between their parents, they said that they had better understanding between them, more balanced decision-making right and that they were taken care from both almost equally. Other reasons for drug addiction were the past experiences, stress, trauma or any unsuitable event that had jolted the addicts. People who were exposed to war environment in their lives, had more trauma and stress level ultimately ending up in the shape of drug addiction. The study also discussed the parental differences, the divorce, deceased and single parent factor which had direct impact on their children.

The study had more appropriate results and the tests performed were statistically sound which gave the results more close to reality. Parents do have direct impact on their children and the upbringing of a child significantly matters for the rest of their lives. Parents who oversee their children actually put them in trouble later, sometime, in their lives. To save the lives of their children from drug addiction, parents do have to play a vital role from the day a child is born till, at least, the teen age and proper surveillance be made in order to get the insights of the daily routine of their child. A child learns from their parents, so this comes on to the parents who can make a life or break it.

References:

ZimiA‡, J. I., & JukiA‡, V. (2012). Familial risk factors favoring drug addiction onset. Journal of psychoactive drugs, 44(2), 173-185.

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