The below assignment has been written by another student. Please read it very carefully and reply to it by providing at least 250 meaningful words, APA format, at least one in-text cite and from at least one academic resource and biblical source. Textbook-Broderick, P. C., & Blewitt, P. (2015). The life span: Human development for helping professionals (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Thanks (Alicia) An addiction is a relationship with drugs or alcohol “in which you use more than you would like to use, and you continue to use, despite negative consequence” (Melemis, 2015). Addiction is seen as a “disease of the wiring of the brain and a person is who addicted may feel drugs and alcohol differently from someone who is not an addict, because their brain is wired differently”(Melemis, 2015). According to Dr. Melemis(2015) an addictive substance feels good because it stimulates the pleasure center of the brain, through neurotransmitters such as dopamine and Gamma-Amino butyric Acid (GABA). Studies show that addiction is linked to genetic disposition and poor coping skills, one can also link it to behavior that is learnt, as it has been shown that children of addicts are eight (8) times more like to develop an addiction(Addiction and Recovery.org, 2015). In our readings, we have found that early life experiences, both in the uterus and after birth may affect the development of our personality(Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Research has shown that child maltreatment, which includes but is not limited to physical, sexual and psychological abuse and neglect increases the risk for substance use and abuse (Longman-Mills et al., 2011). Child sexual abuse, considered to be one of the most severe form of maltreatments was found to be positively related to alcohol and substance abuse(Longman-Mills et al., 2011), with Brems et al, 2004 (as cited in Longman-Mills et al., 2011)found that physical abuse has been identified as being related to the use of drugs and individuals who were physically abused started using alcohol earlier than those who were not. Longman-Mills et al., (2011) found a strong correlation between high incidences of child abuse and maltreatment and drug and substance abuse in Jamaica, Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Uruguay and Colombia, identifying this as a major health concern in those countries. The repeated use of alcohol has been shown to permanently rewire the brain(Addiction and Recovery.org, 2015). Adolescents who abuse alcohol are more susceptible to alcohol induced memory impairment, as they show a reduction in the volume in the hippocampus, the part of the brain which is responsible for memory, in addition, a reduction is also seen in the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain which is responsible for planning, impulse control and social cognition (Carson, 2015). Glutamate and GABA are neurotransmitters which are necessary for brain function (Danbolt, 2001). Under normal conditions, they both work in tandem to maintain homeostasis in the brain, Glutamate encourages firing of the nerves, while GABA acts as an inhibitor, bringing calmness. Without GABA, nerves fire too often and too easy, causing anxiety(Danbolt, 2001) Too much alcohol increases GABA activity leading to disinhibition and reduced consciousness. In addition, Glutamate plays an important role in shaping neuroplasticity and there is enough evidence to suggest that chronic consumption may lead to long term alterations of brain structure (Carson, 2015). In my country, Trinidad and Tobago, it has been found that alcohol and drug abuse is on the rise( Bagoo, 2014). Minister of Health at that time, Minister Fuad Khan indicated that a co-relation was being observed between drug and alcohol consumption and mental health issues, namely, depression. In regional study involving several countries in the Caribbean, conducted by the Inter American Drug Abuse Control Commission in 2010 found that more girls in secondary school were using alcohol than boys(Bagoo, 2014). The Trinidad & Tobago study involved three thousand, nine hundred and nine students (3,909) between the ages of fourteen (14) and seventeen (17) conducted in my country, eighty two (82%) of students surveyed indicated turning to alcohol. Trinidad and Tobago was second highest in the Caribbean, Haiti being the first at eighty six point two percent (86.2%). The teenage or adolescent years is one of the most challenging for the parent-child relationship as adolescents struggle with forming their own identity and balancing the rules and boundaries which are necessary for the maintenance of homeostasis of the family system(Broderick & Blewitt, 2015) . Spirituality and involvement with religious organizations have been seen as providing children and adolescent with a sense of belonging, a sense of identity and has been credited with assisting them with making meaning of everyday experiences (Bryant-Davis et al., 2012) Regnerus & Burdette, 2006 (as cited in Mahoney, 2010) found that a child’s spiritual development or his faith in God or a higher being has been linked to positive relationship with parents resulting in less rebelliousness and McNarmara, Barry & Abo-Zera, 2014 (as cited in Barkin, Miller, & Luthar, 2015) found that religiosity was seen to set boundaries of conduct and a clear moral code. Chatters, Hill & Pargament, 2008 (as cited in Bryant-Davis et al., 2012) found that religiosity and spirituality may serve as a protective factor against involvement in risky behavior as it provides social support, positive coping and sanctions when codes of conduct are breached. Since the adolescent desires approval from his parents and members of his religious community, he is less likely to engage in risky behavior. Rostosky, Danner & Riggle, 2007 ( as cited in Bryant-Davis et al., 2012) found that religiosity provided a protective effect against “binge drinking, marijuana use and cigarette smoking” (p. 308). While Hodge, 2008 (as cited in Bryant-Davis et al., 2012) found that adolescents who reported high levels of spirituality reported “never using” (p.308) hard substances, marijuana or alcohol. There is no doubt that adolescence is a time fraught with many challenges. Hormonal changes, building of friendships, peer relationship, possible negative interactions with peers and parents alike can all leave a teenager susceptible to making unpopular decision-making and anti-social behavior (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). In our readings we found that attachment and social support can both mediate against or leave children at risk for or anti-social behaviors. Spirituality or religiousness has been linked to more pro-social behavior and less risk-taking among youths (Layton, Dollahite, & Hardy, 2011) as for young people, their faith in God and their commitment to their teaching, is the foundation to their moral development. The word of God also provides support for anyone who struggles with addictions. John 8 verse 36 ( King James Version) says that when the Lord sets us free, we are free indeed. Titus 2 verse 11- 14 (King James Version) tells us that “God’s grace brings salvation to us…redeeming us from all iniquity, purifying unto himself a peculiar people…” This is hope for the teenager, who is suffering from addictions. As we meet with them in their daily lives, we can be the arm on God upon the face of the earth, providing that support and patience, that is needed as the journey on the path to sobriety.
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