abnormal psychology 19

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Outline on Abnormal psychology-Drug Dependency (Cannabis)

  1. Abnormal psychology has many classifications given that it is a relatively diverse subject. The paper will focus on drug dependency, which is one of the forms of abnormal psychology. Drug dependency is an issue in the United States. In addition, one of the most abuses drugs is cannabis (marijuana) (Higgins et al, 2008).

  1. Tennessee represents one of the states in America, which has a high rate of drug dependency. Marijuana is one of the common drugs abused by people in all demographics.

  1. Abnormal psychology is essential in analyzing the behavioral patterns of addicts who are dependent on addictive drugs like cannabis. While drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine are more addictive than cannabis, cannabis addiction results in equally dangerous social, economics, and health hazards (Zaman et al, 2015).

  2. Marijuana addiction in Tennessee is considerably high owing to the easy access of the drug in schools, the workplace, the neighborhood, and the clubs (Sussman &amp Ames, 2008).

  1. Drug dependence in Tennessee affects people of all demographics.

  1. People of all age groups, people of all incomes, ethnic backgrounds, and sexes abuse cannabis widely in Tennessee. Hence, treatment should be specific to the various factors mentioned (Charlet &amp Heinz, 2016).

  1. While the local and state government have made effort to curb the high rates of cannabis abuse and dependency in the state, more needs to be done. As such, authorities such as lawmakers, enforcers, and experts in the field of abnormal psychology need to spearhead the fight on drug abuse (Brellenthin &amp Koltyn, 2016).

  2. Secondly, strict laws alone cannot reduce drug dealing and drug use. Current research focuses on involving research on patterns of abnormal psychology and the influence of drugs of one’s behavior (Kinai et al, 2013).

  1. In conclusion, cannabis dependency in Tennessee affects the social cultural, economic, political, and environments structure of the state. Hence, continued research on abnormal psychology is essential in solving mental and emotional issues that arise from drug dependency.

Summary: Drug Dependency (Cannabis)

Drug dependency continues to affect the social-cultural, economic,political, and environmental development of the United States as awhole. The prevalence rate of drug dependency is higher in somestates compared to others. Tennessee represents one of the stateswith the higher rate of drug abuse and dependency (Freeman &ampMurphy, 2016). Cannabis is one of the drugs that people abuse on aroutine basis because users claim that it has relaxing and medicinalproperties. However, research shows that cannabis use interferes withthe mental state of the user hence resulting in health concerns.Ideally, one of the reasons for the widespread abuse of cannabis inthe state is because the drug is easy to produce, distribute, anduse. While the law provides for harsh punishments for cannabispossession, and distribution, cannabis is very popular in alldemographics in the state (Shimane, 2015).

Tennessee is a diverse state owing to the presence of many ethic andsocial-cultural groups. As such, marijuana use is predominant insome cultures as opposed to others. However, people of all culturalbackgrounds have access to the drug in that it is widely accepted asa harmless drug. Notably, cannabis is a controversial drug given thatit is associated with healing properties. Despite this, the state ofTennessee does not allow the legal growing, selling, and use ofcannabis for medical purposes. The law is harsh on cannabis dealers.However, people still manage to source the drug from inside andoutside the state (Sussman &amp Ames, 2008).

To curb the spiraling rates of drug abuse and dependency in thestate, authorities need to streamline their laws to reflect on theground. This should reflect on the various demographics in the stateseeing, as all people are prone to cannabis addiction. Lastly,cannabis abuse and dependency should be taken seriously because itaffects the social structure and development of the state. This canbe done by incorporating emerging research on abnormal psychology onawareness and treatment programs (Kinai et al, 2013).


Drug dependency is one of the issues that pose a threat to theoverall growth of the people of the United States and the world as awhole. Drug abuse and addiction result in the interference of themental state of the human brain. In turn, this increases the numberof behavioral patterns, which are atypical or out of the norm. One ofthe trends in abnormal psychology is the review and analysis ofcauses of drug use and their effects on a given society. Hence, it isvital to single out individual drugs with the aim of focusing ontheir effect on society. The paper will focus on cannabis as a druggiven that it is poses a threat to the overall growth and developmentof the state of Tennessee and the United States in general.

Ideally, Abnormal psychology has gained a considerable amount ofrecognition over the years due to the rising concern of abnormalbehavior in various societies. Most individuals are aware of the termbehavioral abnormalities, which in this case refers to patterns ofbehavior, which are out of the norm (Zaman et al., 2015). However,the term abnormal psychology has a more complex meaning, whichtranslates to various aspects of life such as social, economic,political, and environmental growth. With that said, abnormalpsychology is the study of patterns of behavior, which are atypicalin comparison to behaviors of a general population. Hence, the studyof emotions and thoughts of human beings is vital in understandingwhat determines their behavior and how to classify existing andemerging forms of abnormal behaviors (Baconiet al, 2015).

The paper initiates the discussion of abnormal psychology. The focuswill be on drug addiction and dependency/abuse and the application ofabnormal psychology in dealing with this issue. Lastly, emphasis willbe on cannabis abuse in the state of Tennessee given that this is amajor social problem in the state.

Notably, the subject of abnormal psychology continues to change owingto the introduction of new research and discoveries, which enhanceproper treatment methods for various abnormalities. As such, it isvital to have a comprehensive understanding of the variousdevelopments in the topic at hand and the current trends introducedover the years. Firstly, one has to know the criteria used toclassify behaviors, which are contrary to the norm. Secondly, it isessential to understand how psychologists educate the public on howto deal with such behaviors and ensure that a patient receives thebest treatment (Sussman &amp Ames, 2008).

Some of the common abnormal behaviors are depression, anxieties,multi-personalities, mood disorders, drug abuse/ dependency, andalcohol abuse. Currently, doctors have to ensure that they use thecorrect medical protocol to provide an adequate and elaboratediagnosis for the specific abnormal behavior. Studying the trends andissues related to various types of abnormal psychology is pivotal indetermining the proper treatment and coping methods of the particularbehavior. Therefore, an analysis of abnormal psychology should focuson the current trends various forms of abnormalities, their causes,triggers, and effects on different aspects of society (Shimane,2015).

Drug Dependency (Cannabis Abuse)

Ideally, drugdependency is one of the challenging issues that continues to affectthe countries overall growth. As mentioned earlier, drug dependencyis a form of abnormal behavior in that addicts are completelydependent on the drug in all aspects of their lives. According topsychology, there are different forms of addictions be it behavioralor drug/alcohol consumption (Thomson, 2015).While addicts often show the same symptoms and behavioral patterns,they face different triggers and underlying issues. As such, dealingwith addictions is a long process seeing, as professionals have tomake the right diagnosis in order to determine the underlying issueand cause of drug dependency. In addition, people who may suffer fromdepression or drug dependency will have significantly differentexperiences despite the fact that they face the same addiction.Hence, each person needs a different approach with respect to theirtriggers, reasons for abuse, level of dependency, income status, andcommunity dynamic (Charlet &amp Heinz, 2016).

Drug abusehas dominated most of the research, which analyses trends of abnormalpsychology. However, new ideas and information continue to emergeowing to the extensive research on the various types of drugdependencies and their effects on societal structures. On the otherhand, behavioral addiction receives less attention given that lessresearch and information exists to tackle such issues. However,psychologists now argue that all addictions, though different, havethe same outcomes. Hence, it is vital to have a critical analysis ofdifferent forms of addictions, which result in a type of dependency.Abnormal psychology focuses on the study of an individual’s mentaland emotional state with respect to their type of behavior and itscause. Therefore, one has to understand the emerging trends in eachtype of behavior (Freeman &amp Murphy, 2016).

Drugaddiction and substance abuse destroys families, social structures,and economic growth of a given society. The United States is one ofthe countries, which records one of the highest rates in terms ofdrug/dependency. One of the reasons for this dynamic is the countrieslegal system, which creates provision for legal implications forillegal drug use, abuse, and peddling through the constitution.However, the written law, though strict, does not address thedifferent issues and challenges experienced in real situations. Assuch, lawmakers, law enforcers, and professionals on issuesconcerning drug dependency need to streamline the laws in order tohave effective results. Drug abuse and dependency fall underdifferent classes. In most cases, drug abuse can be through substanceabuse such as cannabis (marijuana), meth, and crack. In contrast,people also abuse drugs such as painkillers and antidepressantsmanufactured for medical use. The abuse of all drugs is dangerous tothe health of human beings. As such, it is vital to identify the telltale signs of drug dependency in individuals and proper treatmentmethods (Baconi et al, 2015).

Cannabis (Marijuana)

Alsoknown as, Marijuana, Cannabis is the most commonly abused drug in theUnited States and different countries across the globe. Commonlyreferred to by its colloquial term weed, the drug is illegal in mostof the states. Notably, cannabis is a controversial drug given thatthough it is illegal, most doctors, medical practitioners, andholistic healers recommend that patients use the drug for pain relieffor the terminally ill. Currently, 25 states including Washington DChave legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Californiais one of the first states to legalize marijuana given the demand forthe drugs treatment qualities in the state. However, despite theincreased recognition of the drugs ability to treat various symptomssuch as nausea, anxiety, lack of appetite, and pain, marijuana isstill a dangerous drug owing to the effects it has on long-term users(Higgins et al, 2008).

One of theactive chemicals in the cannabis plant is the tetrahydrocannabinolchemical (THC). This chemical is responsible for enhancing happiness,relaxed nature, and sense of chill in the user. While these qualitiesimprove the condition of patients who incur considerable pain duringtreatment, the same qualities are responsible for the addictivenature of the drug. Notably, people under the influence of cannabischange their reaction after being that the drug alters their senses.Moreover, addicts often experience hallucinations, memory loss,anxiety, and lack of concentration. As such, while the use of thedrug is allowed for medical purposes, its continued use can havesevere effects on the both the mind and the brain. To conclude, it isessential to have a deeper understanding of the use of cannabis inthe state of Tennessee given that the cannabis abuse is a widespreadproblem in the state. This will provide an in-depth analysis ofcannabis abuse and the essentiality of using abnormal psychology toreduce the dependency and abuse of the drug in question (Brellenthin&amp Koltyn, 2016).

Comparisonof Cannabis and Methamphetamine and Cocaine

Ideally,people abuse cannabis in different parts of the world owing to itseasy access and reproduction value. One of the misconceptions aboutcannabis is that it is an entirely harmless drug. This is becausepeople make the mistake of comparing cannabis to drugs likeMethamphetamine (meth) and Crack Cocaine (crack) whose prolonged usecan result in drug overdose, dependency, and severe health concerns(Thomson, 2015).While cannabis is addictive, its chemical composition is not as muchas the two mentioned drugs. For that matter, people who sell, grow,and use marijuana often justify their involvement with the drug, asharmless seeing as there are few cases of actual overdose. One theother hand, drugs like meth and crack are highly addictive makingthem receive much attention. Hence, addicts who are entirelydependent on such drugs receive more attention compared to addictswho are dependent on marijuana (Kinai et al, 2013).For that reason, psychologists who specialize on addiction treatmentoften study the effects that meth and cocaine have on an addict andtheir surrounding environment compared to drugs like cannabis. A widerange of studies of drug addiction and dependency concentrates onhighly addictive drugs, which often affect the livelihood and welfareof the user. However, this should not be the case given that alldrugs should receive the same treatment. While a significant amountof research focuses on the abuse of cannabis, some of the researchtopics focus on its medicinal properties. Nonetheless, authoritiesrecognize the dangers associated with cannabis distribution and use.As such, the legal ramifications of the growing, sale, anddistribution of cannabis are the same of drugs like meth and cocaine(Thomson, 2015).

Cannabis Abuse in Tennessee

Cannabisabuse in Tennessee is common owing to the easy access of themarijuana distributors. In the United States, both state and federallaws control marijuana regulation. Therefore, the state of Tennesseehas its own laws, which regulate the illegal use of cannabis in thestate in general. In Tennessee, cannabis falls under the schedule VIsubstance seeing as its potential for dependency and abuse is low.Despite this, the state does not allow the legal growing,distribution, and use of cannabis for health reasons like the 25states. Hence, the state imposes harsh penalties on people found inpossession of the drug. This law is under the (TennesseeCode Ann. § 3719.41.). In addition, according to the stateregulations, it is also a crime to drive when under the influence ofmarijuana in Tennessee. However, this law is not part of thementioned article (Higgins, et al 2008).

MarijuanaDependency in Tennessee

Aftercarefully analyzing the state law of the possession, growth, and sellof marijuana in Tennessee, it is now easier to approach the issue ofdrug dependency and addiction the state. During 2007-2008, the stateof Tennessee ranked first in the entire country for the use of painrelievers for non-medical use. This classification was forindividuals aged 26 and above. In addition, the state was also in thetop ten lists of users of marijuana and other illicit drugs. Whilethese statistics reflect on the state conditions 9 years ago, theinformation is still essential in establishing the history of thestates abuse of different types of drugs over the years. Since then,the state has shown significant growth with regard to drug dependencyon medical drugs and illicit drugs. However, Tennessee still has along way to go in order to curb the negative rates of drug abuse suchas degenerative health, dependency, and death (Freeman&amp Murphy, 2016).

Notably, like all the states in America, Tennessee has the mandateto introduce new laws, which often reflect on its social-cultural,economic, environmental, and political development. As such, expertson the drug use in Tennessee should take initiative in solving issuesof drug dependency. That said the laws in the state have a directeffect on the number of drug abusers in the region. Hence, it isvital to understand the significant role of the court system incurbing the spiraling levels of drug abusers in both the states andthe entire country.

In essence, marijuana dependency affects people of all demographicssuch as low income-high income, the young and the old, male andfemale, and people from different ethnic backgrounds. As such, inorder to understand the dynamic of drug use (cannabis) in the state,one has to understand the various factors and their directimplication on drug dependency (Saad et al, 2016).

Cannabis is easily accessible given that the plant grows just likeany other plant. However, the plant is easy to identify and henceposes a risk to people who intend to cultivate the product for eithermedical or non-medical purposes. Firstly, the laws in Tennesseediffer from the laws in alternative states. In this case, it isillegal to grow and sell the plant for medical purposes unlike stateslike California. Despite this, people still have easy access to thedrug from dealers who source their produce from outside the state orwithin. One may argue that making the drug illegal should make itdifficult for people to aces it. However, people have creative ideasthat enable them to produce the cannabis plant without the knowledgeof the authorities (Sussman &amp Ames, 2008). To add on, the priceof marijuana is affordable. Hence, people from high, middle, andlow-income families can access weed from their local dealers. Theeasy access of marijuana in Tennessee is one of the reasons why thestate faces high rates of cannabis abuse and dependency to date.While the drug is less, addictive compared to drugs like meth orcrack, millions of people struggle with cannabis addiction anddependency. If anything, cannabis affects all avenues of humangrowth, as would any other addiction. Moreover, the fact that itseasily accessible and affordable both people from all economicbackgrounds can fall victim to the negative effects of routine druguse (Zaman et al, 2015).

In terms of age, young people are more likely to become addicted tocannabis. According to research on rising trends in abnormalpsychology, teenagers have become more knowledgeable of the existenceof both prescribed drugs and non-prescribed drugs. This is because ofthe easy access to internet/online service and the social media. Forexample, most students in both high school and even middle school areaware of cannabis and its ability to make one high/happy. Furtherresearch states that the fact that children are aware of cannabis andits properties make them susceptible to drug use, abuse, anddependency. In turn, children as young as 14 have experience ofabusing cannabis in high school functions, parties, and even in theirhomes (Saad et al., 2016).

People in the age bracket of 25-33 represent the demographic that ishighly dependent on marijuana in the state. One of the reasons isthat they are financially and socially independent. Hence, theysocialize in circles where people have formed relationships withcannabis dealers. Lastly, people who belong in an older demographicalso abuse the drug in high levels. One of the reasons for this isthat society is less judgmental on people who take weed as oppose topeople who take cocaine. As such, it is easier for a person to startusing weed given that its implications are not as severe as otherdrugs. However, doctors argue that cannabis abuse and dependencyaffects the brain of the user. In addition, people can still getaddicted to the drug. Moreover, no addiction is less dangerous thanthe other is (Freeman &amp Murphy, 2016).

Ethnic and cultural backgrounds play a significant role indetermines the prevalent rates of drug addiction and in a givencommunity. Tennessee has diverse cultural heritage owing to theexistence of people from different cultural backgrounds andethnicities, and races. Notably, people from different backgroundssuch as Asians, black, white, and Latina have extensive knowledge ofmarijuana. The drug is common among people of various races,denominations, and cultural ethnicities (Shimane, 2015). However,reports show that minority groups such as Asian, Latina, and AfricanAmericans are more likely to abuse marijuana. One of the reasons forthis is that minorities especially the undocumented often do not havemany options of employment. Hence, one of the ways that they can earna living is by drug dealing. Selling marijuana is one of the easiestoptions given that the industry is not difficult to penetrate. Incontrast, people gravitate towards cannabis use owing to the popculture in a given region. Nashville, Tennessee is the hub of countrymusic and hence attracts a certain type of lifestyle. Hence, peoplecaught up with the country rock culture are prone to cannabis, abuse,and dependency (Kinai et al., 2013).

Lastly, both men and women in Tennessee are likely to becomeaddicted to the drug. Cannabis addiction does not discriminate onsex. Hence, people of both sexes should be aware of the way that thedrug can affect their overall livelihood. Notably, in any case ofdrug abuse, drug dependency affects women more than as opposed tomen. For example, if a mother is dependent on drugs, their childrenmay have a firsthand experience of the addiction. Hence, this willcreate a negative environment for the children. The same applies tomen who have children. In the case of pregnant mothers, drugdependency can result in the stunted growth of the unborn child.Children raised in such circumstances may show negative patterns inclass, their neighborhoods, and at home. In addition, children withsuch backgrounds have a higher chance of abusing drugs like cocaineand meth (Thomson, 2015).

Following the analysis of all the factors, which determine cannabisabuse in the state of Tennessee, it is vital to have an understandingof the efforts that authorities are making to curb the negativeimplications associated with drug use. The use of cannabis affectsthe emotions, mental, and physical state of the user. While harsherlaws are being enforced to control cannabis use, more needs to bedone. Hence, educators of drug addiction programs are encouraging thestate to merge the legal framework, with psychotherapy and counselingservices in order to determine the underlying causes of cannabisabuse and dependency. People who depend on cannabis show patterns ofabnormal behavior considering that the drug interferes with theirmental state. Over the years, dependency rates have dropped owing toextensive educational and treatment programs. However, millions ofpeople still face the issues of cannabis abuse and its financial,medical, and social ramifications (Shimane, 2015).

In conclusion, abnormal psychology seeks to educate all people alikeof the dangers of mental and psychological issues in society. Morethan half of individuals affected by mental disorders anddependencies also depend on drugs. Cannabis is one of the drugspredominantly abused in the state and different parts of the UnitedStates. There are many factors that determine the abuse anddependency of cannabis. To curb the spiraling number of people whosuffer from marijuana addiction, authorities need to look into thefactors and their effect on different demographics. The fight on drugdependency is a nationwide issue. Hence, the legal system, lawenforcers, and experts on abnormal psychology should work hand inhand with the government to reduce the rate of dependency in thecountry.


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