Drug Addiction - Essay Example

Published: 2024-01-10
Drug Addiction - Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Psychology Public health Drug abuse
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1287 words
11 min read


It is my pleasure to present my findings in one of the most debated psychology areas in recent years about self-compassion. Self-compassion is an interesting idea because, though it is an old concept in the eastern philosophical school, it seems an entirely new idea for western psychologists. However, recently it has gotten the attention of the majority of psychologists as they attempt to interpret and understand in various contexts. My focus on this concept of self-compassion, however, goes beyond its view as a measure of psychological health where aspects of health attitude and self-wellbeing to examine in relation to drug addiction and substance use disorders. My review of various psychological documents on self-compassion shows that the concept of how it relates to treating patients addicted to drugs and those with substance use disorders has not been much explored. However, for the available studies, one would not quickly tell how self-compassion or its components help in the treatment process, and this must be addressed through my research paper.

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Public Health Issue

The introduction part of my paper reveals that the use of alcohol and other illicit substances is a significant public health issue that contributes up to 5.4% of the cases of diseases around the world. Over 7% of the world population is affected by drug addiction and substance usage (Cavicchioli, Movalli, and Maffei, 2018). Subsequently, this rate has led to the straining of the resources affecting economic performance as well as interrupting the social construct because it negatively affects the victims. Extensive research on the use of substance reveals various aspects that tend to turn victims away from oneself to develop hate, shame, and some form of guiltiness. However, my search on self-compassion reveals that it focuses more on having compassion, being kind, and mindful about oneself (Massey, Newmark, & Wakschlag, 2018). When we collect these thoughts, self-compassion can indeed be the best strategy when employed as an intervention for victims of drug addiction and substance use disorders. This explains the focus of my research paper and the basis behind choosing the particular subject for study.

In the introduction part of this presentation, it was my admission that just like the concept of self-compassion is not new, thus its use in the treatment of drug and substance users. It means that studies already exist on the same. Besides other underlying factors such as resources, time, and expertise to conduct the primary investigation, I focused on reviewing these studies. This explains my decision to use a systematic review in this paper. With this design, I was sure I would extract every detail in each study, make the comparison, and make an informed conclusion about the subject. However, the initial step was to choose credible sources of databases, including the four main psychological and medical databases such as Web of Science, Pubmed, PsycINFO, and Medline. Besides, I ensured the review relied on only relevant documents by using terms that are related to the topic on such as self-compassion, substance use, and mindfulness.

Psychological Research

The rules of conducting psychological research, especially when human beings are involved as participants, the ethical code of conduct must be observed. Thus, despite accessing many studies on the subject matter, the criteria were set in place. Only those with participants over 18 years with no indication of causing them harm or suicidal thoughts were considered. Similarly, articles were up to date just to ensure the latest views are captured in my review. Ultimately, the research paper for systematic review ended up, including only fifteen studies that had qualified by meeting the criteria set.

The heart of this paper lies within its result section, where all the critical aspects about the topic are revealed in relation to the people involved, their characteristics, and the outcomes entailed in each study. An examination of the included studies focused on identifying the authors, the sample used in every study, research design, the substance, measure strategy, treatment period, key findings, and the experienced limitations. All the participants used in various studies were indeed within the accepted age of 18 years and above, and all of them were either the victims of drug addiction. The review revealed that the majority of the papers had applied randomized controlled trials as the research design, and this explains that there was a high level of homogeneity, and this also shows the high attribution rate. The homogeneity of the studies was significant in increasing the accuracy-related to the findings found. Something that I can never fail to mention about these studies is the use of the self-compassion scale as the measure of the levels of compassion among the participants.

Subject Matter

Fundamentally, we should not lose track of the subject matter, which was about how self-compassion, drug addiction, and substance use disorders are related. It is fascinating to present to you that despite the variation in the power of influence or the impact, all the fifteen studies supported each other when it comes to the findings. There was evidence found in every article showing that self-compassion negatively correlates with substance use disorders and drug addiction (Garner et al., 2020. This is to mean that victims whose self-compassion was high tested low for substance and drug use. However, for patients whose self-compassion was low, their cravings for substance and drug use were high hence resulting in the problem associated with substance use disorders (Phelps et al., 2018). The outcomes for all the studies reflected the same direction. It was easy for me to conclude that self-compassion is a critical strategy when applied in the treatment of the victims of those who abuse drugs or other substances.

As I move towards the end of this presentation, it would not be true to indicate that no challenges were faced in the systematic review. I met many of them, but the majority were associated with the variations in the studies' characteristics in terms of their sample, research designs, and the intervention measures. The most important aspect of this study is how much it reveals about the subject of self-compassion in relation to assisting in the treatment of people with issues related to drug and substance use. The information collected following this systematic review is essential, especially in mental health settings, specifically for therapists who will understand the use of the self-compassion scale in helping substance users regain their mental stability. It goes beyond health practitioners to include other persons, including the family members, friends, and even employers of the people who may experience drug addiction and suffer substance use disorders. It is a paper worth reading and recommending to friends, classmates, workmates, and family members.


It is my pleasure to appreciate everyone's support. I must mention my supervisor, who offered me support throughout the study period. My teamwork was so cooperating towards accomplishing this project. Friends and families offered their generous support too.

Reference List

Cavicchioli, M., Movalli, M., and Maffei, C., 2018. The clinical efficacy of mindfulness-based treatments for alcohol and drug use disorders: a meta-analytic review of randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials. European addiction research, 24, pp.137-162.

Massey, S. H., Newmark, R. L., & Wakschlag, L. S. (2018). Explicating the role of empathic processes in substance use disorders: A conceptual framework and research agenda. Drug and alcohol review, 37(3), 316–332. https://doi.org/10.1111/dar.12548

Garner, A.R., Gilbert, S.E., Shorey, R.C., Gordon, K.C., Moore, T.M., and Stuart, G.L., 2020. A Longitudinal Investigation on the Relation between Self-Compassion and Alcohol Use in a Treatment Sample: A Brief Report. Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, 14, p.1178221820909356.

Phelps, C.L., Paniagua, S.M., Willcockson, I.U., and Potter, J.S., 2018. The relationship between self-compassion and the risk for substance use disorder. Drug and alcohol dependence, 183, pp.78-81.

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