Biological underpinnings for recovery models in substance abuse, as applied to a specific life stage according to Erikson’s or Vaillant’s theoretical stages.
In a biological perspective, growth and development of the human being diversely differ across the genetic composition. It simply implies those different individuals are identified using distinct aspects of life for instance, the health, gender, socioeconomic, cultural identity, growth, ethnicity and sexual orientation. According to Erik Erikson’s theories of human development stages, it categories adulthood into three distinct stages. These include the earliest stage of adulthood (young), the stage between the final and the young stage (middle age), and finally the old age stages. Human development commence immediately after the body is exposed to the favorable environment that supports human life.
Human development is most influenced by the interaction of an individual with different environmental factors. During the different Erik Erikson’s development stages people’s eating habits or tendencies are affected by the surroundings or the environment set up. According to a scientific research, most of the young adults fall victims of abnormal behaviors during the development stages. It means that they encounter problems or disorders that disrupt their day to day life situation. Some disorders may be very complex to an extreme of devastating the victims both body and mind compared to another individual in different development stages. The major cause of the cause of the emergence of such disorder in this specific stage is due to the fact that the majority of individuals in this stage are active hence gets exposed to more critical environmental conditions or factors.
In events where the brain structure, hormonal structure and neurotransmitters experience some sort of generic or rather abnormality would result in the emergence of different eating disorder. In the young adulthood stages, identical twins are considered to have bulimia and anorexia as compared to the fraternal twin who has less or none at all. In a biological context, human being should have a normal eating habit regardless of the development is on stage. On the other hand, studies show that most of people in the young adulthood stage have the eating habit disorder which is believed to have been influenced by the nongenetic factors. These factors include the depression and the anxiety disorder (obsessive-compulsive).
According to Hansel and Damour, (2008) the nongenetic factors are seen to cause the people’s compulsive appetite for dieting and purging hence resulting to obsessional thoughts of being overweight. Hormonal abnormalities are as a result of different levels of ghrelin and leptin. The increase or increase in leptin would either lead to increase or decrease in the person's appetite whereas the changes in the level of ghrelin would hinder the degree of hungriness. Due to the active response to young adult hormone endorphins plays the role of secreting a response to any abnormality brought by the anorexics and bulimics.
The other elements that influence the eating disorder are the change in the levels of neurotransmitters. In simple terms, serotonin plays a major role to the bulimia and anorexia. That is, it is used to regulate a person’s appetite, it controls the impulse problems, the anxiety disorder, obsessional thoughts, and the change in moods. In the young adulthood stage, dopamine transmitter is affected when an individual takes drugs. Substance abuse interrupts or activates “reward pathway”. It is responsible for the releases of dopamine within the brain. Substance abuse is reinforced by the surge of good feeling or pleasure that is experienced throughout the entire body and brain. This happens to affect the stimulation of the dopamine transmitters.
Substance abuse or pathway influence or rather interrupt the normal glutamate and dopamine resulting in the production of a totally different feeling or pleasure. It therefore means that the whole situation would be surrounded by the risk of emergences or development of an addictive cycle that craves for more drugs during stressful periods. Another major element which plays a fundamental role in determining the substance abuse levels among the people in the young adulthood stage is the genetic structure. According to research, genes contain the elements of alcoholism though it is mostly influenced by the environment. It thus explains the theory as to why alcoholism is hereditary or is found along the family lineage. The argument of alcoholism as a hereditary factor is support by studies done on identical twins over the fraternal twin. The studies show that a big percentage (58%) of identical is most likely to turn alcoholic as compared to a percentage of 28% fraternal twins.
Human development is influence by the changes in the environment. The environment affects the peoples’ behavior for instance, illness and injuries during a specific developmental stage has a disinhibiting implication to the normal behavior of individual linking it with the paraphilias. The most common illness and injuries associated with paraphilias include lope epilepsy and the brain tumors. The environment influences the development of the individual in such a way that the events taking place in their surroundings determine the traits and mental state across other development stages. For instance, a researcher has found out that majority of the women that fall victims of mental retardation, sexual and physical abuse during their childhood stage are more likely to commit sexual offenses during their young adult stage of development.
The human development and interaction to the environment influence has great impact to the totality of human genetic structure. During birth of an individual there is present of innate tendencies of character or behavior (temperament). This genetic temperament interacts with some of the environmental influences hence resulting in the development of a personality disorder. The environmental influence causes some individual to drift their emotions toward obtaining the desire and needs of others instead of focusing on their primary needs. In other terms anorexia makes individuals to believe that their parents’ recommendation is the best thing to determine their perfection. During the development period of young girls and boys the eating disorder and appearance is influenced or determine by the parent’s attitude toward their characters. This is supported by the studies conducted that concluded that the daughters are likely to have an eating disorder, especially if her mother is preoccupied with her physical appearance and attractiveness.
The development of the eating disorder is as a result of environmental influence which affects the mindset of a person. It makes a person to have diverse perspective on the surrounding making people to develop an unconscious feeling. According to Hilde Bruch, sexual trauma contributes in the development of the eating disorder among the people of the young adulthood stage of development. In a biological context, substance abuse is the takes the stand or is treated as a symptom because of the rest of the issues and forces experienced by the patients. People within young adulthood stages are privileged to have a strong immune system because the biological processes are still in the early maturity stage.
It therefore implies that individuals in this stage are in the suitable position to respond positively to the environmental changes. An exception to the argument is due to the substance abuse which on the contrary weakens the immune system of the individual leading or exposing them to vulnerable diseases or other environmental challenges. The victims of drug addiction are at the risk of not adopting to the environmental influence hence deterring their smooth development process. In general point of view, the addictive crave for drug or substance abuse brings along negative impact to the human development stage as classified by Erik Erikson. The environment affects the different human development stages differ in accordance to the biological stability of the human body or structure.
The environmental influences are extreme across the young stages of development. It damages the smooth or normal condition of human being in terms of their growth and development progress. In conclusion, the genetic and hormonal structures are the major elements that are affected by the environmental influences resulting to abnormality of human life. The hormones are responsible for either increase or decrease in the degrees of people hunger and level of appetite hence contributing the eating disorder. Whereas the genes or gene is responsible for the adaptability of the individual to different environmental conditions or influences. For instance, the hereditary factors subject a person to a specific environment. Substance abuse and other external factor are believed to enhance the environmental influence of the human development. That is human interaction with the environment hinder the development since they are prone to engage in addictive tendencies in specific stages of their development.
Cheek, C., & Piercy, K. W. (2008). Quilting As A Tool In Resolving Eriksonâ€™s Adult Stage Of Human Development. Journal of Adult Development, 15(1), 13-24.
Salkind, N. J. (2006). Encyclopedia of human development. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.