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Abnormal Psychology-Why people experiment with drugs

Abnormal Psychology-Why people experiment with drugs

Several arguments have emerged on substance use and abuse, where some people claim that it is not a disorder or addiction but rather a behavioral choice. My thoughts regarding the issue are that the circumstances and situations leading to substance abuse and use determine whether it is a disorder or a behavioral choice. In some cases, people start using drugs due to factors such as peer pressure. Despite knowing the negative impact of drugs on their health, social, and economic life, people still decide to start using drugs (Race, 2017). Many people decide to experiment with drugs despite knowing the side effects because of factors such as curiosity and peer pressure. It is through experimentation that they become drug users and addicts. While experimenting with drugs, people may find a feeling that they have been desiring, which makes them develop a habit of using drugs (Race, 2017). The motivation for experimenting with drugs comes from the feelings they observe users express when on drugs (Race, 2017). Peer pressure is another motivation where adolescents may need to conform to a certain group using drugs. Thus, in this case, substance abuse becomes a matter of choice where they develop a behavior of substance use. Curiosity makes healthy people start using drugs, and in the process, they become addicts (Race, 2017). Therefore, based on the situation where a healthy person decides to use drugs despite knowing the disadvantages, it becomes a matter of choice.

In some instances, some people start using drugs due to underlying medical conditions, which makes them become addicts. People with chronic pain, for example, may get addicted to opioids, making it a disorder (Smith & Borden, 2020). It is scientifically proven that continuous use of certain drugs leads to tolerance and addiction (Smith & Borden, 2020). Some people may be overwhelmed by mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, where they may find some drugs to relieve them. They, therefore, become drug users because of their underlying medical conditions (Smith & Borden, 2020). Hence, a person’s medical condition or illness may lead to substance abuse, especially where controlled medications are used.


Race, K. (2017). Thinking with pleasure: Experimenting with drugs and drug research. International Journal of Drug Policy49, 144-149.

Smith, C. H., & Borden, K. A. (2020). Introduction to the special issue on substance use disorders and addictions. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice51(1), 1.


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Abnormal Psychology-Why people experiment with drugs

Abnormal Psychology – PSY211-702

Some have argued that Substance Use Disorders are not disorders or “addictions” but rather behavioral choices that people make. What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you believe that the use of substances is a matter of choice or is such behavior an illness which results in the loss of control and ultimately drug abuse? Post your response to the discussion board.

Please Respond in 300 words. Lecture Notes Attached

Reflection Paper

Abnormal Psychology-Why people experiment with drugs

Abnormal Psychology-Why people experiment with drugs

  • Many people experiment with drugs despite knowing their adverse consequences.
  • Why do you think people are motivated to experiment with drugs?.

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