Emergent Adults Drug Addiction

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Drug addiction is frequently an infection in which a person who uses a substance finds it difficult to manage and stop despite the negative effects on health. It's also known as substance use disorder. The use of a dangerous substance can have significant and intense craving effects on the abuser. Mental illnesses, difficulties breathing, hallucinations, and irregular heartbeats are some of the negative effects. Adolescents and young adults have been in the forefront of drug usage and addiction. Substance misuse has resulted in severe health problems among young adults, including cases of persistent mental disease. Emerging adulthood is that period in which individuals develop through a shift in the roles in various aspects of life such as education, interpersonal relationships, and employment.

A recent study has shown that drug abuse mainly occurs during the period of emerging adulthood. The literature review aims to consolidate some studies on drug usage among the emerging adults taking into account both who are mentally ill and those not mentally ill. This was done to explain some effects of co-occurrence on psychiatric rehabilitation, the risk factors to help find approaches to intervention including empirically studies on interventions. Also, the review describes the prevalence of the substance abusing problem. The research put a lot of emphasis on emerging adults of ages between 19 to 25 years. The ages chosen were because they defines what the average age of an emerging adult. The mental disorder that is as a result of substance abuse has reduced the number of individuals who can be employed to serve in specific sectors of the economy. This is due to a disruptive behavior disorder which does not allow them to perform better as expected in the various workplaces leading to poor economic development.

Determinants of substance use disorders among the emerging adults.

In the development of interventions, the determinants of substance use and disorders are usually used in the identification of individuals who are at risk (Patrick et al.2012). Also, they are used in the establishment of factors to target while looking for the victims of drug substance usage. Certain factors largely contribute to the consistent substance use. Such factors include a change in the parental relations and the peers. A recent study among the adolescent showed that parental rejection, a reduced parental monitoring, negative peer groups and family history of substance use are the vital factors that led to the continuous usage of drugs among the merging adults. Patrick et al.(2012), argues out that another factor that correlates to substance use is demographic factors especially single-parent households' since the single parents cannot be able to monitor the movement of their kids ranging from the friends to the activities the peers are involved.

The research by Patrick et al. (2012), found out that substance abuse was primarily prevalent among the males who had low education attainment and some history of depression. Further adults with bipolar disorders and schizophrenia had high levels of drug abuse. Additionally, the study on the emerging adults showed that alcohol use caused several problematic alcohols, for instance, it led to the development of antisocial traits, parental alcoholism and externalizing behavior problems.

Prevalence of Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders Among the Emerging


According to Lorains, Cowlishaw & Thomas (2011), drug substance abuse is most common among the emerging adults. In a study that had been carried out by some researchers showed that drug abuse was prevalent in adolescents especially those who had one alcoholic biological parent. It then increased during the emergent adulthood. Some patterns of drug abuse were identified, for example, it began at low levels of drug abuse, which is then followed by a little alcohol use. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the most significant number of emergent adults who were drug abusers were mainly at the age of 22 years where the pattern of usage of the substance was at the peak. This is because at that age taking of drugs has been legalized in most of the countries.

The most recent research on the risk factors found out that substance abuse and disorders had grown a common phenomenon among the emergent adult's age 21 years. Lorains et al. (2011), therefore concluded that emergent adulthood is vital to point in life where most young adults develop a continuous and severe substance use effects such as mental illness. Also, a prevalence of the usage of drugs mostly occurred among the emergent adults who had developed a critical mental disease as was compared to the other individuals without the problem at hand. Among those who abused drug substance, mental illness is the key effect that is a result of the consistent usage of substance. Unlike other periods of adult development, during the emergent adulthood individuals tend to experience illicit abuse of drugs contributing to mental illness among the peers.

Impacts of substance abuse in emerging adults

Abuse of substance often leads to certain adverse effects among the users. For instance, it results in a mental illness which would in turn result to school dropouts. Additionally, it can cause unemployment and other legal issues among the peers. Apart from mental illness, it can also create more problems, for instance, an increase in functional impairment (Sheidow et al.2012). Another impact of drug abuse is a rise in the arrest rates of the emerging adults who had some certain mental severe health conditions. A recent study by some scholars showed that some relations were exhibited between poor work outcomes and substance use especially in populations without mental health conditions. This, therefore, contributed to poor performance of work among the individuals who are drug abusers leading to unemployment.

The companies consider the presence of a substance in a work environment as an impediment to quality performance hence no full-time jobs given to such people. Apart from mental illness, drug addiction can also result in physical effects. For instance, it can cause HIV/AIDS among the emergent adults since most of them usually engage in sexual activities just after having taken the drugs leading to the contraction of HIV/AIDS (Sheidow et al.2012). Another physical effect is cancer of the lung. Abuse of drugs often results in the spread of harmful substance in the lungs which causes a growth of tumours in the lungs. A result among the emergent adults is usually an increase in medical costs to get proper treatment of illness. Another critical impact is the loss of jobs due to the disease which affects the normal body functioning. At times abuse of drugs among the emergent adult lead to attempts to commit suicide resulting in the death of some of them.


In summary, drug abuse is more common among the emergent adults since it is the period in which most of the adolescents usually under developments. At the age of 22 years and above, most of the young people tend to want to have a taste of everything they come across hence they end up becoming substance users. This research found out drug usage a more prevalent among those emergent adults who had mental illness compared to the other ones who did not have psychological problems. Also, the research showed that the young adults had the highest percentage of the population who are drug users compared to the mature adults. The intervention should, therefore, focus on the young adults especially those who are aged between 21 to 25 years. The critical effects of consistent usage of drug abuse are the mental illness which has become a common impact of the use of the substance.

The negative consequence of mental illness is the unemployment that will be created since the already addicted individual may not be able to perform some tasks in the workplace as normally leading to his sacking. Apart from the mental effect, the study also found out that there are other several physical impacts. For instance, it may lead to the contraction of certain viral diseases such as HIV/AIDS which often result in high costs involved in seeking medical services. Another physical effect is lung cancer to the victims leading to deterioration of health to the substance user. Certain factors also contribute primarily to the increased usage of substance. A typical example is the non-monitoring of the children by the parents on the kind of friends such emerging adults associate with in their absence. Another factor is poor family relationships hence nobody bothers to be concerned about the kids who need a lot of guidance as they develop.


Lorains, F. K., Cowlishaw, S., & Thomas, S. A. (2011). Prevalence of comorbid disorders in problem and pathological gambling: Systematic review and meta‐analysis of population surveys. Addiction, 106(3), 490-498.

Patrick, M. E., Wightman, P., Schoeni, R. F., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2012). Socioeconomic status and substance use among young adults: a comparison across constructs and drugs. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 73(5), 772-782.

Sheidow, A. J., McCart, M., Zajac, K., & Davis, M. (2012). Prevalence and impact of substance use among emerging adults with serious mental health conditions. Psychiatric rehabilitation journal, 35(3), 235

April 26, 2023



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