, Volume 94, Issue 3, pp 261-274
Date: 06 Mar 2008

Persistent high ambition and substance abuse: a rationalization of a vicious circle

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Abstract

While the current use of some mind-altering substances alleviates current level of depression, it facilitates future depression. Our analysis incorporates this intertemporal tradeoff and shows that the stationary status of a consistently overly ambitious sophisticated user is improved by impatience, and that this improvement is amplified by the ratio of the instantaneous depression-relief effect to the status-degradation effect of the mind-altering substance. The analysis also shows that the existence of a supportive personal community leads to permanent cyclical use of mind-altering substances.