Individual Differences in Substance Abuse
Virtually every adolescent and adult in the United States today is exposed each day to the opportunity to use alcohol and tobacco. A smaller, but still significant, percentage of the population is exposed to the opportunity to use a range of illicit drugs from marijuana to heroin. Most of the members of our society have or will have some experience with a variety of psychoactive drugs. Some—but by no means all or most—will become casualties: they will become dependent on one or more drugs. A fundamental question that must be addressed in any serious theory of substance abuse is the problem of individual differences. One way of trying to understand why some individuals become dependent on or abuse drugs, whereas others do not, is to describe characteristics that are discriminative. Some of these factors have been highlighted in recent national surveys.
KeywordsSubstance Abuse Alcohol Abuse Substance Dependence Recent National Survey Stance Abuse
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