Is Drug Dependency Socially or Biologically Generated? Critically Evaluate Theoretical Perspectives and Support Your Answer with Empirical Evidence.

Is drug dependency socially or biologically generated? Critically evaluate theoretical perspectives and support your answer with empirical evidence.

In this essay I will be discussing whether drug dependency is purely socially or biologically generated or whether it is actually multi-factorial. I will demonstrate this by first reviewing the theoretical perspectives for the social argument and the evidence supporting these. I will then review the biological theories and the supporting research. I will conclude by discussing the multi-factorial approach to drug dependency and also the difficulties which arise from this debate.

Extrapersonal factors have been argued to be the cause of drug dependency. There are many environmental influences present and many of these factors are intertwined, therefore, only a few of the main factors will be discussed. One suggestion under the social bonding theory is the idea of the impact of school on young people’s behaviours. Success at school and ties to this social bond is believed to be a protective factor against drug use. In Fannery, Vazsonyi, Torquati and Fridrichs’ (1994) research into the risk of adolescents to substance use, they showed that “positive school adjustment and academic achievement can provide a context in which children and adolescents experience success and gain reinforcements for their efforts”. (p.209). This achievement reinforces their social bond. Similarly, “there are higher rates of drug misuse among persistent truants and excludees [of school]” (Every Child Matters: Change for Children: Young people and drugs, 2005, p.7). This shows support for this approach as the research surrounding school influence has been implemented in Government policy. In the Every Child Matters (2005) report, the strategy states to put into place interventions which aim to help the most vulnerable children, those who are not succeeding at school. A limitation of this approach is that it is unable to explain why...