The Literature Review, Part 2: Putting It Together

Categories and Subcategories I will use to Group Articles into Common Themes

There are several categories and subcategories I will use to group my articles into common themes. The first theme is the prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse in the United States. For this theme, I will categorize the articles in terms of information provided concerning the rate of alcohol and drug abuse per population, estimates, and surveys conducted across the country, and the complexity and severity of drug and alcohol abuse. The next theme is the causes of drug and alcohol abuse. I will use several categories to group the articles that provide information concerning the causes of drug and alcohol abuse. The articles should include information about how peer pressure, emotional distress, and depression, and family history cause drug and alcohol abuse. The third theme is the impacts of drug and alcohol abuse. This theme has several categories and subcategories. I will categories the articles in terms of the health, social and psychological impacts of drug abuse. Within the social impacts, I will subcategorize the articles according to of the impacts of drug and alcohol abuse on employment, academic achievement, interpersonal relationships, and social activities. For psychological impacts, I will subcategorize the articles according to information provided on addiction, depression, Substance Abuse Disorder, and Cognitive Impairments as psychological impacts of alcohol and drug abuse.

Summary of Themes

The first theme in my literature review is the prevalence of alcohol and drug abuse. According to reports, approximately 18.7 million individuals in the U.S have SAD mainly caused by mental illness and other problems (Kelly et al., 2017). According to research conducted by the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) approximately 85.6% of individuals from age 18 and above have abused alcohol at some point in their life, 54.9% have drunk in the past year (Gruza et al., 2018). Young adults of age 18 to 25 account for 3.4 million individuals diagnosed with alcohol use disorder.  In 2019, 25.8% of individuals age 18 and above have engaged in binge drinking. In 2017 approximately 271 million individuals abused drugs in the world with the United States accounting for 164.8 million individuals aged 12 and above. Nonetheless, about 12.7% of American adults meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder.

When it comes to the causes of drug and alcohol abuse, there are several causes including peer pressure, emotional distress and depression, and family history. Researchers have found that the strongest predictor of alcohol and drug abuse among adolescents is being asked to drink and smoke by peers (Barnett et al., 2017). Also, middle-aged individuals are pressured by their peers into alcohol and drug abuse to the point of making excused such as dieting and driving. Another major cause is emotional distress and depression. The link between depression, emotional distress, and substance abuse is strong. Emotional distress and depression can be caused by rape, assault, physical because, trauma, and natural disasters. These problems can significantly contribute to people indulging in alcohol and drug abuse. Family history is also another major cause of alcohol and drug abuse. Families with a history of dysfunctional family roles and unhealthy attachments can lead to addiction. Also when a family member has a history of addiction, an individual may be twice likely to abuse alcohol and drugs. Maladaptive family dynamics significantly contribute to alcohol and drug abuse.

The impacts of drug and alcohol abuse are categorized into health, social and psychological impacts. Alcohol and drug abuse can lead to significant health risks such as mental health conditions, heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Long-term use of drugs and alcohol use leads to lung and heart disease, HIV/AIDS, mental illness, liver problems, and hepatitis (Silva et al., 2018). Consequences of addition include negative effects on unborn children, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory consequences. Nonetheless, drugs such as heroin, synthetic cannabinoids, and ketamine can lead to kidney failure or damage. The social impacts of drug abuse include lower academic achievement, poor performance, and loss of employment. Drug and alcohol abuse leads to addiction which is associated with truancy and lack of concentration which eventually lead to low academic achievement. It also leads to low energy levels and poor performance at work which leads to job loss.

Other social impacts of drug and alcohol abuse include problems in interpersonal relationships, frequent road accidents, and reduced social activities. Besides personal adversities, abuse of drugs and alcohol may cause relationship problems and jeopardize many aspects of marriage and family life. Sometimes it may lead to relationships dysfunction (Gadd et al., 2019). Drunk driving is also a major cause of road accidents in the United States. Nonetheless, addiction to alcohol and drugs can lead to reduced social activities and social isolation. Most people isolate themselves from the rest of society to indulge in substance abuse. When it comes to psychological impacts, alcohol and drug abuse can lead to cognitive impairments and dementia. This mostly happens especially in individuals who chronically abuse tobacco, alcohol, benzodiazepines, and tobacco (Kelly et al., 2017). There is also a significant link between Substance Abuse Disorder, alcoholism, and chronic anxiety in adults. Most mental health problems are caused by abuse of alcohol and drugs. Addition to drugs and alcohol can cause depression which poses a great challenge in treatment efforts.




Kelly, J. F., Bergman, B. G., Hoeppner, B. B., Vilsaint, C., & White, W. L. (2017). Prevalence and pathways of recovery from drug and alcohol problems in the United States population: Implications for practice, research, and policy. Drug and alcohol dependence181, 162-169.

Grucza, R. A., Sher, K. J., Kerr, W. C., Krauss, M. J., Lui, C. K., McDowell, Y. E., … & Bierut, L. J. (2018). Trends in adult alcohol use and binge drinking in the early 21st‐Century United States: A meta‐analysis of 6 national survey series. Alcoholism: Clinical and experimental research42(10), 1939-1950.

Silva, D. R., Muñoz-Torrico, M., Duarte, R., Galvão, T., Bonini, E. H., Arbex, F. F., … & Mello, F. C. D. Q. (2018). Risk factors for tuberculosis: diabetes, smoking, alcohol use, and the use of other drugs. Jornal Brasileiro de Pneumologia44, 145-152.

Barnett, A. I., Hall, W., Fry, C. L., Dilkes‐Frayne, E., & Carter, A. (2018). Drug and alcohol treatment providers’ views about the disease model of addiction and its impact on clinical practice: A systematic review. Drug and alcohol review37(6), 697-720.

Gadd, D., Henderson, J., Radcliffe, P., Stephens-Lewis, D., Johnson, A., & Gilchrist, G. (2019). The dynamics of domestic abuse and drug and alcohol dependency. The British Journal of Criminology59(5), 1035-1053.





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