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Refer to the information in the “Introduction to the Miller Family” document. For this discussion, choose one of the following family members currently experiencing issues with substance abuse and complete the discussion according to the instructions below.
Option 1: Lucy Miller – As we learned in Discussion 1 this week, this 20-year-old college student has recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. As a coping mechanism for her wild mood changes, Lucy began experimenting with illegal drugs while still in high school and has now become addicted to them.
Option 2: Lucy’s younger brother, Josh, was recently discovered using marijuana. His response to his parents when confronted was, “It’s just an herb! Grandma Ella says as long as it is natural, it is good.” In truth, Grandma Ella hasn’t said anything about marijuana and does not know that Josh has been using it.
Option 3: Sam Miller, Lucy and Josh’s uncle, is an alcoholic. He is 50 years old, divorced, and estranged from both his ex-wife and their only son. He’s had no contact with either of them for many years. Sam has a long history of work and legal problems related to drinking. The family sees him as a “loser.”
After choosing one of the people above, analyze the biology of substance abuse and describe its potential for dependence in certain families and the outcomes of various behaviors. Is it likely that Lucy, Josh, or Sam had a genetic predisposition to alcohol or substance addition? How does lifespan development make a difference in propensity to abuse substances? How does the stage of life at which the abuse begins impact the user’s behaviors?
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