Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health

2012 Edition
| Editors: Sana Loue, Martha Sajatovic

Addiction and Substance Abuse

  • M. Barton Laws
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5659-0_733

Discussion of so-called substance abuse and addiction is vexed by ambiguity and disputes over vocabulary, which is caught up in equally vexing disputes about ideology and values. People may distinguish among substance use, misuse, abuse, abuse disorder, dependence, and addiction, but not necessarily in consistent ways.

The American Psychiatric Association defined drug abuse in 1932 as “the illegal, nonmedical use of a limited number of substances, most of them drugs, which have properties of altering the mental state…” Note the oddity that not all drugs are drugs – the second sense meaning therapeutic compounds. This double meaning creates additional confusion. The definition went on to establish as essential conditions violation of cultural acceptability, social norms, or statute; drug abuse was predominantly framed as moral transgression. This moral lens has continued to influence views of substance abuse, but the formulation of addiction or substance dependency as a disease has...

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Suggested Readings

  1. Cherry, A., Dillon, M. E., & Rugh, D. (2002). Substance abuse: A global view. Westport: Greenwood.Google Scholar
  2. Hatsukami, D. K., Stead, L. F., & Gupta, P. C. (2008). Tobacco addiction. Lancet, 371(9629), 2027–2038.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Kalivas, P. W., & Volkow, N. D. (2005). The neural basis of addiction: A pathology of motivation and choice. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 162, 1403–1413.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Matters, B. M., Degenhardt, L., Phillips, B., Wiessing, L., Hickman, M., Strathdee, S. A., et al. (2008). Global epidemiology of injecting drug use and HIV among people who inject drugs: A systematic review. Lancet, 372(9651), 1733–1745.Google Scholar
  5. Rollnick, S., & Miller, W. R. (1995). What is motivational interviewing? Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 23, 325–334.Google Scholar
  6. Wipfli, H., & Samet, J. M. (2009). Global economic and health benefits of tobacco control. Clinical Pharmacologic Therapy, 86(3), 263–271.Google Scholar

Suggested Resources

  1. Harm Reduction Coalition. http://www.harmreduction.org/index.php. Accessed May 10, 2011.
  2. U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, publications. http://samhsa.gov/shin/. Accessed May 10, 2011.
  3. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/topics/substance_abuse/en/. Accessed May 10, 2011.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Barton Laws
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Health Services Policy and PracticeBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA