Essay on Substance Use And Substance Abuse

1860 Words Dec 8th, 2016 8 Pages
Substance use is something that has become very common in America, and it’s use is affecting many people in various ways. Substance use is defined as the use of drugs or alcohol, and is abused when it becomes a daily intoxication, inability to reduce consumption, and if it impairs social functioning (dictionary, 2016). While using alcohol or drugs may not be considered substance abuse, it can sometimes lead to it if the user is not careful in monitoring his or herself. My paper will be covering both the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs, and then give examples or explain the situation. The psychological factors of substance use and abuse are not always well known, and could alter a person’s decision to begin partaking in such activities.

The limbic system is a neural system that includes the hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus. This system, associated with emotions and drive, is located below the cerebral hemispheres and holds a very valuable part of the brain. The hippocampus has the important role of processing explicit memories for storage. Losing this part of the brain is being depleted of the ability to form new memories, which significantly affects the lifestyle of a person in a negative way. When a person consumes a heavy amount of alcohol, the hippocampus can reduce in volume and result in tissue loss (Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research). This discovery could explain memory impairment and cognitive defects that seem common in alcoholics, and because…

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