Peer and family influence on adolescent drug addicts

Master's Thesis, 2014

56 Pages, Grade: A



The aim of the present study was to find out the family and peer influences on adolescent drug addicts. The sample comprised of 110 adolescent (male) taken from the different areas of Khyber Pkhtoonkhwa. The instruments used were: (i) Index Of Family Relation (IFR) (Aziz, 1991). It consisted of a 5- point Likert type scale with 17 items. Seven items were positively coded, i.e. 1,2,4,5,8,14 16 &17 and 10 were negatively coded. (ii) Index Of Peer Relation (IPR) (Aziz, 1991). It comprised of a 5 point Likert scale with 13 items. Eleven were positively coded and 2 items (4 &5) were negative. For the statistical analysis Mean, Stander Deviation and t-value was calculated that t-test were used to analyze the relationship of high and low income group of addicts with their peers and with their family. The correlation between family influence and friends influenced on the addicts was checked. The results indicated that lower income groups of adolescent drug addicts have poor relationships with their family and strong relationship with their peers. Low income group of addicts have more intrafamilial problem then the high income group of addicts. The alpha reliability of both scales was also calculated. The reliability of IFR is .95 and reliability of IPR is .71.

Chapter 1 Introduction

1.1 Initiation of Drug Addiction

The journey to drug addiction begins with the simple act of taking drugs. At the initial stage the drug user finds that drugs make him feel better and provide pleasure. He understands what drugs can do for him, but does not consider what drugs are doing to him. Over the passage of time, as his consumption continues and dosage inevitably increases, his ability to choose not to take drugs can be compromised. His need for drugs become compulsive, due in large measures to the effect of prolonged drug use on brain functioning and thus, on behavior (Coombs, 2002).

At what level does a drug user become an addict? The latter is commonly limited in term of his addiction to his particular drug of choice. Dependency in turn has both physical as well as psychological dimensions. Physical dependency is a condition where drugs are essential for the maintenance of normal psychological functions. A sudden pause in drug use results in specific behavioral and physical symptoms normally associated with abdominal pains, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, etc. Psychological dependency on the other hand, refers to a condition where the addict craves for drugs without which he becomes dysfunctional (Ndambuki, 2003).

Drug addiction is a complex disease. It is characterized by compulsive and often times uncontrollable drug craving and consumption that persist even in the face of extremely adverse consequences. Addiction becomes chronic, with relapses possible, even after long periods of abstinence (Kaguthi, 2006).

Drug addiction is a problem that has been increasing immensely among our society today. Drug addictions can only obstruct us from accomplishing goals, objectives or dreams in life. Generally, most addicts believe initially that they can stop using drugs on their own. Many have tried to stop without resource to professional treatment. Most of these attempts failed to achieve long term abstinence, due to inability to appreciate the fact that long term drug use results in significant changes in brain function. One consequence of this is the compulsion towards relapse. Many people doubt that it can be effective. This may perhaps be due to their unrealistic expectations. They equate addiction with simple drugs and thus expect addiction to be cured quickly. Otherwise treatment is assumed to have failed. In reality, given the fact that addiction is a chronic disorder, abstinence may be attained only with sustained and repeated episodes of treatment (Ndirangu, 2004).

Drug addiction can lead to harming one’s body, causing problems in family structure, and contribute to the delinquency in society. The sooner people seek help for drug addiction problems, the more chances they have of gaining control of their life once again. However, abstinence is the safest way to live a longer and healthier life. We are greatly influenced by the people around us (Nasibi, 2003).

In our society today one of the reasons of teenage drug use is peer pressure. Peer pressure, represents social influences that affect us. It can have a positive or a negative effect, depending on what path one follows. There is direct and indirect pressure that might influence a person’s decision in using drugs. Direct pressure might be when a person is offered to try drugs. Indirect pressure might be when a person is around people using drugs and observes that there is nothing wrong with using drugs (Ndambuki, 2003).

1.2 Drug use

A chemical substance that disturbs the soft function like (heart,brain,stomach) of the body is called a drug. A drug is any chemical that produces a therapeutic or non-therapeutic outcome in the body. Many instruction drugs that produce therapeutic effects may also cause non-therapeutic effect if taken in excess and or without specific instruction (Swadi, 1999).

Drug is a substance which may have medicinal, compulsive, act enhancing or other effects when taken or put into a human body or the body of another animal and is not careful a good or wholly a good (Coombs, 2002).

In pharmacology, a drug is "a chemical substance used in the treatment, prevent, or finding of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well-being. Drugs may be prescribed for a limited duration, or on a regular basis for chronic disorder (Coombs, 2002).

Recreational drugs are chemical substances that affect the central nervous system, such as opiods or hallucinogens. They may best for perceived beneficial, consciousness, personality, and behavior. Some drugs can cause addiction and/or habituation (Swadi, 1999).

1.2.1 Legal Drug

Legal drugs are those, which are for the patient treatment during illness, doctors for patient prescribes these drugs. It can be transferred from one place to another. A legal drug or intoxicants or drugs which are not prohibited by the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. This classification therefore enables legal drugs to be sold over the counter in various retail stores or food-suppliers throughout the world and the United States.individual will consume legal drugs for a plethora of reason: a legal drug may be used for a medicinal purpose or or may be purchased as an intoxication agent.the most commonly used intoxicant, throughout the worls,is alchohol:however,many other legal drugs are used for introxicating purposes, including various native plants and tobacco (Coombs, 2002).

1.2.2 Illegal Drug

Illegal drugs are drugs which have controls on them by a government and are illegal in certain situations (a person is not allowed to have them). A drug is any chemical designed to affect the human body. A psychoactive drug is a drug that affects the brain. Some controlled drugs are allowed if you have permission (called a "prescription") from a doctor. Other drugs are illegal - meaning you are never allowed to have them. Individual countries and places have different laws about different drugs, and there are also international treaties against some drugs. The most used drugs are not illegal (Ndambuki, 2003).

1.3 Drug Abuse

Drug abuse is a serious public health problem that affects almost every community and family in some way. Each year drug abuse causes millions of serious illnesses or injuries among Americans. Abused drugs include

- Amphetamines
- Anabolic steroids
- Club drugs
- Cocaine
- Heroin
- Inhalants
- Marijuana
- Prescription drugs

Drug abuse also plays a role in many major social problems, such as drugged driving, violence, stress, and child abuse. Drug abuse can lead to homelessness, crime, and missed work or problems with keeping a job. It harms unborn babies and destroys families. There are different types of treatment for drug abuse. But the best is to prevent drug abuse in the first place. Persistent or sporadic excessive use, inconsistent with or unrelated to accept a medical practice (Mubashar, 1984).

1.4 Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a state of periodic or chronic intoxication produced by the repeated consumption of a drug (natural or synthetic). Its characteristics include an overpowering desire or need (compulsion) to continue taking the drug and to obtain it by any means.

- A tendency to increase the dose.
- A psychic (Psychological) and generally a physical dependence on the effects of the drug.
- Detrimental effects on the individual and on society.
- Drug habituation (habit) is a condition resulting from the repeated consumption of a drug. Its characteristics include,
- A desire (but not a compulsion) to continue taking the drug for the sense of improved well-being which it engenders.
- Little or no tendency to increase the dose.
- Some degree of psychic dependence on the effect of the drug, but absence of physical dependence and hence of an abstinence syndrome (withdrawal).
- Detrimental effects, if any, primarily on the individual. (The 1957 (WHO) expert committee on addiction-producing drugs defined addiction and habituation as components of drug abuse).

Drug addiction, also called substance dependence or chemical dependency, is a disease that is characterized by a destructive pattern of drug abuse that leads to significant problems involving tolerance to or withdrawal from the substance, as well as other problems that use of the substance can cause for the sufferer, either socially or in terms of their work or school performance. More than 2.6% of people suffer from drug addiction at some time in their life.

The term dual diagnosis refers to the presence of both a drug-abuse or dependence issue in addition to a serious mental-health problem in an individual. Substance abuse or dependence unfortunately occurs quite commonly in people who also have severe mental illness. Individuals with dual diagnosis are also at higher risk of being noncompliant with treatment.

1.5 Drug Dependence

Drug dependence means that a person needs a drug to function normally. Abruptly stopping the drug leads to withdrawal symptoms. Drug addiction is the compulsive use of a substance, despite its negative or dangerous effects.

A person may have a physical dependence on a substance without having an addiction. For example, certain blood pressure medications do not cause addiction but they can cause physical dependence. Other drugs, such as cocaine, cause addiction without leading to physical dependence (Mubbashar, 1984).

1.6 Physical Dependency

Physical Dependency refers to a state of chronic dependence on a medication or drug resulting from prolonged abuse. The state is characteristically defined by an increase in tolerance and dependence in which negative consequences occur despite continued use. It is additionally defined by symptoms of withdrawal when cessation of the drug takes place. Physical dependence can occur from prolonged use of sedatives, pain killers, or stimulants, but is defined by similar sets of consequences (Mubbashar, 1984).

1.7 Drug Tolerance

Physiological tolerance or drug tolerance is usually encountered in pharmacology, when a subject's response to a special drug and attention of the drug is increasingly compact; require an increase in concentration to attain the preferred outcome. Drug tolerance can affect both psychological drug tolerance and physiological components. The following are features of drug tolerance: it is reversible, the charge per unit depends on the particular drug, dose and frequency of use, differential development occurs for different effects of the same drug. Physiological acceptance also occurs when an organism builds up a resistance to the effects of a substance after repeated exposure. This can take place with environmental substances, such as salt or pesticides. A rapid drug tolerance is termed tachyphylaxis (Sania, 2010).

1.8 Reasons for Using Drugs

1.8.1 Environmental Factor of Addiction

Sociologist and psychologist have introduced a number of theories explaining the sociological and environmental approaches toward the use and abuse of drug dependence.

Users will begin using drugs because they fill it in their daily life, e.g. when their friends, siblings, and parents use drugs. When a kid is given birth, he is wholly innocent; his head is like a transparent slate. It is the environment and society which draws him (Sawadi, H. 1991).

1.8.2 The Influence of Peer Group Among Addiction

Peer relation plays an important role in causing drug addiction. Association with drug using peers adolescent is among the most potent predictors of teenage drug use. Acculturation of the child is not restrained to his/her family, others agencies of social control as well contribute to their position which may be various with the family. It has been indicated that users will start drug because they see it in their daily life.

Kandel and Andew (1978) have concluded that substance use practices and drug related attitudes of peer are the predictors of drug dependence. In the work of Johnston (1984) of the 9th class students reporting high marijuana use report that their acquaintances are also users.

Peer relations are important in all phases of development, especially along the subjects of drug addiction and separation of parents. Peer relations in depression are the road to the dependency. They can also touch on one another as good examples for imitation, for personality factors as well as behavior change (Conner, 1972).

Association with drug using peers during adolescent is among the most potent predictor of teen drug use. If an adolescent uses drug, for any reason he or she is more likely to associate with drug using peers, which in turn will increase the adolescent’s chance of preserving and increasing drug abuse.

Kendal (1985) found that next to age and gender, mutual marijuana use was the most potent determinant of adolescent friendship.

1.8.3 Family Factors in Drug Addiction

The household is the environment for the human life, growth and maturation. The family system consists of a circular feedback loop whereby each member can act upon and bear on the family organization. When parents or other household member suffer a history of alcoholism, criminally or other kind of anti-social behavior, there is a much greater like hood that the developing adolescent will begin a practice of substance using (Whiteman & Gorden, 1983).

Family factors or parents play an significant part in causing drug addiction. Researchers have acknowledged that the menage is the first significant social group in which a child is socialized (Zigler & Suez, 1988).

Thither is a remarkable agreement among the researches that emotional or supportive relationship that arises between parents and progeny are extremely significant in predicting certain attitudes and behavior which are the product of socialization and child’s early environment.

In most instances, a deprivation of warmth and love between parents and children has the direct effect on drug use of adolescent.

Similarly, when parents are overly permissive or provide behavioral guidelines that are inconsistent or unclear, adolescent are more likely to initiate substance use behavior (Kandal, 1980).

The teen /teenager starts using drugs due to the lack of parental participation in the child activities, their weak controls and incompatibly between parents. Family factors may protect against it or increase this risk of an individual drug user.

The disruption in family circumstances or impairment of familial relationships may adversely affect the attitudinal development of the small fry.

Most of the researches conduct of drug usage and abuse in Britain, both in institutionalized and noninstitutionalized setting have shown that a larger balance of drug users came from broken family or were faced with family disturbance or parental separation (Plants, 1981).

Looking more specifically at adolescent drug use, positive family relationship, involvement and attachment appears to discourage youth’s initiation into drug use (Adler & Luteeka, 1973).

Strong parental emotional bonds save the youngster from a number of anti-social behaviors. If people find emotional support. Love and fulfillment of others demand from parents, he never moves toward addiction. The interfamilial disorders and broken home (Glueck, 1968) weak relationship with parents, inadequate oversight and lack of family regulation are some of the factors which in varying degree contribute to the development of delinquent attitude among children.

Kids from broken families due to marital strife are at higher danger of willful neglect and drug use (Baumrind, 1985).

The family factors that are keeps maintenance of using drugs are presented every bit in the F

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1.8.4 Acceptability

In families where drug use is acceptable the risk for us to develop into abuse increases, although some people will reject drugs when they witness and experience the negative consequences. When a somebody is discovered to an environment where drug usage is seen as normal and common, the person will likely begin or increase her drug intake, reports the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. This acceptability and regular exercise are likely to determine the development of problems with drug abuse (Maqsood, S.2000).

1.8.5 Poverty

Growing up surrounded by poverty can increase the possibility for drug abuse, notes the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. Neighborhoods that have high rates of poverty tend to also have high rates of drug abuse. Drugs are frequently traded in these regions as a means to get fast and substantial sums of money. Drug dealers often advertise their drugs onto influential teens and children by giving them away for free; this is a means to guarantee a continued supply of consumers.

These impoverished conditions can make people feel as though they have little mastery over their lifespan and are helpless because they have no way to mount upward from the poorness. This lack of self-worth and learned helplessness can lead a mortal in these conditions to use drugs as a means to disguise the pain of the situation (Maqsood, S.2000).


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Peer and family influence on adolescent drug addicts
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peer, drugs, addicts, adolescent addicts
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Hina Qazi (Author), 2014, Peer and family influence on adolescent drug addicts, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • Hina Qazi on 2/3/2015


  • guest on 10/31/2014

    Great job (y)

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