M5 Assignment 2 LASA Submission – Submit Assignment

Assignment 2: LASA: Final Project

In this assignment, you will write a 10- to 15-page paper applying what you have learned throughout this course. You will build upon the assignment completed in M4 Assignment 2. This paper is to be in the correct APA format, which includes a title page, an abstract page, and at least ten scholarly sources. You must consider all of the following for your paper:

  1. Describe a criminal behavior in detail addressing how multicultural characteristics might influence the behavior as well as perceptions of the behavior by society. (approximately 3–4 pages).
    • Define all relevant typologies or categories that pertain to your selected criminal behavior in detail
    • Identify the statistics for the incident and rate of your selected criminal behavior in the U.S. Evaluate any issue you find with the statistics (i.e., possible issue with underreporting).
    • Describe the typical perpetrator of your selected criminal behavior (i.e., in terms of gender, age, race, SES, etc.).
  2. Discuss etiology theories for this particular criminal behavior (approximately 4–6 pages).
    • Describe the developmental risk factors associated with your selected criminal behavior.
    • Describe the biological, social learning, and sociological theories related to your selected criminal behavior.
    • Apply at least two historical psychological theories related to your selected criminal behavior (i.e., psychoanalytical, theories of aggression, etc.).
  3. Describe prevention, intervention, and treatment of the typical perpetrator for your selected criminal behavior (approximately 3–4 pages).
    • Describe current prevention, intervention, and treatment associated with your selected criminal behavior.
    • Discuss specific modalities (i.e., group treatment, individual treatment, social programs, etc.) and types of treatment (i.e., cognitive behavioral, empathy training, anger management, etc.).
    • Identify statistics related to treatment success and recidivism rates for your selected criminal behavior.
  4. Conclude your paper with a brief overview of your main points and discuss areas for future research (approximately 1 page).
    • Summarize the main points discussed in your paper.
    • Discuss what is needed in terms of future research (i.e., more research on risk factors, etiology or more research on better treatment, etc.).

Submission Details:

  • By the due date assigned, save your paper as M5_A2_Lastname_Firstname.doc and submit it to the Submissions Area.

The LASA is worth 300 points and will be graded according to the following rubric.

Assignment Component  Maximum Points    Describe a criminal behavior in detail addressing how multicultural characteristics might influence the behavior as well as perceptions of the behavior by society.  70    Discuss etiology theories for this particular criminal behavior.  66    Describe prevention, intervention, and treatment of the typical perpetrator for your selected criminal behavior.  70    Conclude your paper with a brief overview of your main points and discuss areas for future research.  66    Writing is generally clear and in an organized manner. It demonstrates ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; and generally displays accurate spelling, grammar, punctuation. Errors are few, isolated, and do not interfere with reader’s comprehension.
Citations in text and at the end of the document are in correct APA format.  28    Total:  300          Due DateJul 30, 2018 11:59 PM  Hide Rubrics


Running head: DRUG ABUSE 1












Drug Abuse

Stephanie Rincon

Argosy University

FP6015 | Psychology of Criminal Behavior

Professor Robert Thompson

July 25, 2018


Drug Abuse


Drug abuse is of legal and illegal drugs for the wrong purpose. Various factors are noted to cause substance abuse. Some of these factors include genetic predisposition, drug use experimentation, concurring conditions and the environment (Benito, Ballesteros, Callado & Meana, 2014). Drugs can consist of a variety of substances. Some are legal although most are not. Abusing legal or illegal drugs is harmful to the human body and leads to physical, mental, psychological, or social harm to an individual or group. Some individuals use the excuse of using drugs because they are depressed, stressed, in pain or any other reason the person can create to excuse his behavior and drug abuse (Brick & Erickson, 2013). The world today does not realize that most people are all habitual drug users because they are continually ingesting nicotine, ethanol, and caffeine. Even simple medicines can be counted.

There are different groups of drugs; Soft drugs that include tranquilizers, sedatives, cannabis, amphetamines, alcohol, and tobacco. The hard drugs are the ones to worry most about these are harmful to the body, and they include heroin, cocaine (opium), ecstasy, crack and several others. With the use of the hard drugs, it can lead to criminal activities, murder, sicknesses, and diseases. Research revealed that in 2011, 2.5 million emergency visits were resulting from drug abuse in the United States alone (Sipp, 2017). Besides, only 11 percent of those who are addicted received medical care. The remaining population of 89 percent is too vast to be without rehabilitation as they may result in more severe cases in future. According to Sipp (2017), the number of patients who are affected either directly or indirectly is growing. Therefore it’s essential to increase the rehabilitation centers at a higher rate so that the effects of drug abuse can be reduced through prevention than treatment.


Poor relationships with parents also contribute to substance abuse. Peers and friends who are drug users influence other who becomes vulnerable to indulge in the behavior. Others enter into drug abuse to compensate for their in achievements such as failure to excel in education and other fields (Buccelli, Della, Paternoster, Niola, & Pieri, 2016).

Continuous use of drugs leads to addiction (Longo, Wilson, Christopher & Grant, 2016). However the frequency of abuse that causes addition if different in different people. Some people react fast with the drugs hence developing a constant craving for them even after short periods of use. On the other hand, some individuals may use the drugs for a relatively long time before becoming an addict. Apart from addiction, drug abuse can lead to various criminal activities such as juvenile sex offenses, violence, and robbery among others (Buccelli et al., 2016). Drug abusers will misuse not only illegal drugs but also the legal ones. They will take excessive amounts of over-the-counter or prescription medication to get high. Contrary to what some of the drug abusers believe most drugs worsen anxiety, depression, impulsive behavior, and antisocial behavior. For drug abusers, the only thing that matters to them is getting their next high at any cost. Most users will lose everything they have to get high; this is why they most often require professional help.

On the other hand, analgesics are essential remedies for relieving pain; however, users are advised to be cautious since continued use of this form of medication is increasingly addictive. Since relief from pain occurs upon simple ingestion of the painkiller, people tend to prefer them over other non-drug pain management techniques. As such, instances of addiction are higher, calling form extra care to avoid such occurrences since overdosing can result in serious complications that put one’s life at risk. Addiction is caused by our culture of considering medical remedies for treating simple pains that can be suppressed by other methodologies (Agbonghale & Okaka, 2017). Moreover, addiction to prescription medication is heightened by the relaxation feeling registered upon the use of analgesics. Besides, the euphoric side effects caused by many opioids bring about certain aspects of excitement in users similar to that achieved from intense physical exercise. However, the relaxation and pleasure derived from the use of medication require no effort contrary to that obtained from physical activities. The nature of human beings of using shortcuts to attain specific desires increases their preferences of using analgesics in place of physical exercise. The effect is an addiction, which is characterized by intense side effects on one’s health. Therefore, usage of painkillers should be limited only to prescription by health physicians to protect individuals from any resulting side effects.

Distribution of the Drugs

The area of concern that needs to be addressed is the distribution of the drugs. The government plays a huge role in licensing the legal drug distributors (Sipp, 2017). But unfortunately, the licensed individuals also participate in the distribution of the illegal drugs or foster the illicit use of legal drugs. Equally, there are other unlawful distributors of the drug that needs to be investigated and taken through the judicial process. The efficient way of reducing the rate of drug abuse in different states is through preventing the distribution process (Longo et al., 2016). High penalties should be imposed on distributors of the drugs rather than the users. In the supply of the drugs is reduced or stopped, an equal effect will reflect among the users. After which the addicts can be taken through the suitable rehabilitation processes.

There are also serious consequences for drug traffickers trying to bring drugs into the United States for profit. Becoming a drug trafficker can lead to prison or death at the hands of police or someone trying to steal the drugs. Drug traffickers are sometimes abusers as well. They go to any lengths to get the drugs into the United States for sale or to abuse themselves. They then distribute them to dealers who distribute them to the abusers.

The Effects of Drug Abuse

Drug abuse among the youth has more drastic effects on the future of the society hence should be addressed. Young people are the most affected social group, and they are easily influenced to indulge in the offensive act. Some of them are not mature enough to make rational decisions before committing the crime. Therefore, the society and government should act in unison to save the generation.

Drug abuse affects a person physically, mentally and socially by impairing his ability to function, concentrate, and perceive things around them. The behavior in humans is very complex such that when they abuse drugs, there is a reaction of multiple genetic and environmental influences on how the person reacts to the substance. The effects of drug abuse have personal factors that affect each person’s psyche, behavior, and emotions. These factors bring about changes in a person’s responsibilities toward like such as school, work, and home life. It can cause a person to become completely unaware or uncaring about the people around him. A severe drug abuser will even steal from their own families to obtain what they want.

Most hard drugs can cause a person to hallucinate and become completely out of touch with reality (Brown et al., 2018). Some people go insane because of over abuse of drugs. They cannot function in the everyday world with other people because they cannot think clearly. Abusers most often cannot hold jobs because of failing a drug test, not doing their job correctly, their abnormal interaction with other people, or from stealing. Crime and death are most often associated with drug abusers because these are two of the most common consequences of abusing drugs.

Abusing drugs can affect many aspects of a person’s life as mentioned before, but it also affects him legally, socially, and causes physical harm to the body. Drugs can cause heart attack, diseases like HIV attack or murder another individual (Golichenko, Stolz, & Ezer, 2018). Some of their social behaviors can lead to jail or prison time because an individual will commit a crime to support their drug of choice and all of the hard drugs are illegal in all 50 states.

An abuser will go to any lengths to get their drug of choice. They will even go as far as to neglect their life responsibilities like, whether it is their family and spouse or their social responsibilities; they will go to any length to achieve their next high. Neglecting family members is one of the saddest consequences. Mothers who abuse drugs while pregnant either have miscarriages, have children with congenital disabilities or mental retardation and even get their children taken from them. For older children with drug abusing parents, it can affect them psychologically. To see their parents abusing drugs and how the parent’s act causes the child to fail to have the right kind of common example that he should have.

Abuse of Analgesic Drugs and Their Effects

Analgesic drugs, also known as painkillers refer to any form of medication used to relieve individuals from pain (Trotto, 2015). Painkillers function in different ways on an individual’s central and peripheral nervous system, with the effect of relieving one from pain. Analgesics are distinct from anesthetics known to eliminate the sensing abilities of the nervous system whose result is the inability of the body to perceive pain. However, painkillers achieve the elimination of pain in different ways depending on the group of medication used. Despite the vital role played by painkillers, excessive intake of the same amounts to drug abuse and can have adverse side effects on users (Trotto, 2015). Therefore, it is essential to consult a professional physician to provide the best prescription on the best analgesic to use.

History of Painkillers

Since time immemorial, people across the world considered using biological mechanisms to fight pain. People in ancient Egypt utilized leaves from the myrtle bush while Native Americans used the backs of the birch tree. On the other hand, Europeans cured pain by chewing hunks of willow barks. Scientists in the nineteenth century managed to isolate salicin chemical believed to relieve pain from the plants. The isolation opened ways for the discovery of reasons behind the side effect of terrible digestive problems upon intake of the above-stated pain remedies. After independent researches, a relatively less harmful derivative chemical was synthesized by a scientist at Bayer Pharmaceutical. Acetylsalicylic Acid (ASA) was dubbed aspirin by the organization and was commercialized as an anti-pain remedy for human beings (Trotto, 2015).

How Painkillers Work

Painkillers achieve elimination of pain in various ways depending on the group of drugs taken. Opioid drugs constitute heavy duty drugs such as codeine and morphine mostly used in treating severe pain (Trotto, 2015). Opioids work in two ways towards the primary objective of relieving pain. When part of the body registers an injury, nerve ends at the region quickly perceive the message and transfer the signal to pain receptors in the brain. Opioids accomplish their desired function of killing pain by either interfering with or blocking the transmission of the pain message through the nervous system (Trotto, 2015). As a result, the signal fails to reach the brain for interpretation; thus no pain is felt. The second method of functioning for opioids is by changing the manner in which the brain functions. By doing so, normal pain perception by the brain is altered. Primarily, opioids do not cause ill pain. However, they only change and reduce the user’s perception of pain, which brings about a sensation of relief.

On the other hand, aspirin drugs such as ibuprofen constitute over the counter drugs that many people sought to cure pains such as headaches and back pains. Contrary to the functioning mechanism for narcotic opioids, aspirin manages to eliminate pain from the site of injury by actually damaging it. When body cells are destroyed, large quantities of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase-2 are released from the cells (Trotto, 2015). In turn, the enzyme produces prostaglandins chemical that is responsible for transmitting pain signals from the site of injury to the brain for interpretation. Prostaglandins chemical also stimulates the release of fluids from the blood to act as a cushion to prevent the damaged cells from any further beating. It is the fluid cushion that is responsible for the inflammations and swellings that characterized by immense pains and aches.

When we intake aspirin, it is dissolved in the stomach and transferred to all parts of the body via the blood system. Even though the drug finds its way to all body parts, its effect is only felt at the point of damage. Aspirin cures intense pain by attaching itself to the molecules of cyclooxygenase-2 chemical, thus preventing further production of prostaglandins (Trotto, 2015). By inhibiting secretion of prostaglandins, no more pain signals are transferred to the brain. Consequently, the victim will not perceive any form of pain from the area of injury. Despite the elimination of pain, cells in the region of injury will remain damaged, and the resultant inflammation persists. Aspirins ability to prevent secretion of prostaglandins makes it an essential requirement for fighting the risk of suffering heart attacks. Higher contents of prostaglandins in the body increase possibilities of clotting that may cause blockage of blood vessels. Besides, aspirin reduces production of thromboxane chemical that has the effect of making platelets sticky (Trotto, 2015). This reduction is dangerous to people’s health since sticky platelets increase occurrences of blockages in blood vessels that cause heart attacks.

Drug Abuse Prevention Measures

The problem can be prevented in various ways. Reduce the access of the young people who are the most vulnerable to these drugs. It can be done through revoking all licenses held by people who are found to be the perpetrators of the crime. Besides, they should be judged for going against the law and conducting unethical business which endangers other people’s lives either directly or indirectly (Sipp, 2017). Another way of reducing the problem is through rehabilitation of the addicts. Once the drug supply has been cut off, the drug users may not adapt to life without drugs. They will require medical attention and therapy to recover from addiction. Otherwise, they will incur psychological problems.

Treatment for Drug Abusers

There are different treatment options for drug abuse. They have in-patient clinics, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers as well as self-help books and hotlines (Golichenko, Stolz, & Ezer, 2018). Rehabilitation centers as well as in-patient treatment clinics house the patients for a certain amount of time and offer meetings with a professional one-on-one or group therapy. These places help the patients by weaning them off the drugs. Letting a user stop taking the drug too quickly can result in sickness or even death. Self-help groups like AA/NA are for abusers who have been released from rehabilitation centers or the ones that are strong-willed enough to help themselves. The people within these groups will help each other get through their daily lives without using the drugs.


Drugs affect the people who abuse them as well as the people surrounding them. They have physical, mental, and psychological effects. Abusing drugs is dangerous and should be avoided. Abusing drugs can cause sicknesses, diseases, jail or prison time, the loss of everything and even death (Scherer, 2012). If an abuser is not strong-willed enough to help themselves or allow family members to help them, seeking professional help may be their only option. A person can contact his local clinics or rehabilitation centers to get more information on how to begin the programs. Painkillers are essential anti-drug remedies for different forms of pain. Many types of analgesics exist with prescriptions determined by the nature of illness to be treated and the responsive of the patient. Painkillers function in different ways that include inhibiting the transmission of pain messages through nerves, preventing the production of prostaglandins, and changing the brain’s perception of pain. In all cases, a person achieves relief from pain, which is essential for healthy living. Despite the relieving effect, cases of addiction are high especially for prescribed medication. Use of non-medication pain management measures is thus advised to save people from corresponding side effects of overdosing that may be extremely dangerous.



Agbonghale, G. O., & Okaka, R. O. (September 01, 2017). Effects of Drug Abuse on Academic Performance of Technology Education Students in Nigerian Public Universities. Journal of Psychology, 5, 1, 79-83.

Benito, M., Ballesteros J., Callado, L. F. &Meana J. J. (2014). Recent cocaine use is a significant risk factor for sudden cardiovascular death in 15-49-year-old subjects: a forensic case-control study. Addiction 109(12), 2071-078.

Brick, J., & Erickson, C. K. (2013). Drugs, the brain, and behavior: The pharmacology of abuse and dependence. S.L: Routledge.

Brown, J. L., Eriksen, M. D., Gause, N. K., Brody, G. H., & Sales, J. M. (January 01, 2018). Impact of Behavioral Drug Abuse Treatment on Sexual Risk Behaviors: An Integrative Data Analysis of Eight Trials Conducted Within the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network. Prevention Science: the Official Journal of the Society for Prevention Research, 19, 6, 761-771

Buccelli, C., Della, C. E., Paternoster, M., Niola, M., & Pieri, M. (January 01, 2016). Gender differences in drug abuse in the forensic toxicological approach. Forensic Science International, 265, 89-95.

Golichenko, M., Stolz, S., & Ezer, T. (January 01, 2018). Addressing Human Rights Abuses against People Who Use Drugs: A Critical Role for Human Rights Treaty Bodies and Special Procedures. Journal of Human Rights Practice, 10, 1, 83-102.

Longo, D. L., Wilson M. C., Christopher M. J., and Grant T. B. (2016). Relationship between nonmedical prescription-opioid use and heroin use. New England Journal of Medicine, 374(2), 154-63.

Scherer, L. S. (2012). Drug abuse. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.

Sipp, W. (January 01, 2017). Co-operation group to combat drug abuse and illicit trafficking in drugs (Pompidou Group). The Council of Europe: Its Law and Policies, 413-425.

Trotto, S. (January 01, 2015). Prescription painkillers and the workforce: Experts say policies and education can help combat opioid abuse. Safety & Health, 192 (4), 42-44

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