Preventing substance use and misuse among young adults

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Kang, Jian
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MA in Addiction Studies
Dublin Business School
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The purpose of this research was to identify effective ways of eliminating or reducing addiction problems among young adults in Ireland through examining the effects of various risk factors, including cross-cultural differences. How do we find out about these problems? If there are issues how do we prevent or solve them? Data was collected by giving out questionnaires to college students (N=224) and young workers (N=19). This self-report questionnaire study aimed at establishing the impact of ethnic identity, coping behaviour, country of origin and social anxiety on individual stress levels. The current research aimed to identify whether the change of living environment could cause attitude changes towards substance use and the ways in which an individual copes with addiction problems, and also how ethnic identity, stress and sensation seeking effect substance dependency. The current research tests the relationship between general health and a number of risk factors (alcohol consumption, substance dependency, and smoking). In relation to these hypotheses, first, the findings established that only self-distraction, positive reframing, self-blame and social anxiety had an effect on participant's stress level. Second, a change of living environment did not have a major influence on their attitudes towards substance use and also most participants would take part in social activities to keep their minds off the substance craving. Third, it was also established that stress did have an influence on an individual's substance dependency. Finally, cider drinking did have a positive effect on the individual's General Health. Moreover, the combination of all the predictors does have significant predictive value in relation to young adults' Stress levels, Substance Dependency and General Health. However, considering that none of the colleges located outside the Dublin area have taken part in the study, it was possible to state that different findings may have occurred if these colleges were included in this study.