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Depicting Substance Use Disorder In The Film Titled 28 Days (Research Paper Sample)


The Film Titled 28 Days


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Depicting substance use disorder in the film titled 28 Days
This essay will tackle the topic of substance use disorder as a psychology topic. The film that will be reviewed for the topic is 28 Days. This is a film written by Susannah Grant and written by Betty Thomas. The film stars Sandra Bullock as a columnist for a New York newspaper (Thomas). In the film, Bullock acts as Gwen Cummings, an alcoholic forced to attend rehab for 28 days. This is because of her escapades of the day that ended up with her crushing a stolen wedding limo into a house (Thomas). The film explores substance use disorder through the eyes and life of Cummings and the people she meets in the rehab. It also explores the challenges they go through in trying to get clean. This essay will show how substance abuse and its related disorder is being portrayed in the film.
Substance use disorder
According to WHO, substance abuse is defined as the consumption of substances that affect the mind in levels that are considered harmful (WHO). Substance abuse covers the abuse of alcohol and drugs such as opioids, amphetamines and cocaine. Substance use disorder is therefore a condition where the use of a substance such as alcohol leads to a severe impairment in one's ability to be a functional human being. Components of substance use disorder include addiction, dependence and abuse. Addiction is a disorder of the brain where a person feels he has to take the drug despite its destructive effects (Volkow, Koob and McLellan). Dependence is a state normally associated when an addict is in withdrawal. Abuse is the overuse of a substance despite its harmful effects. Substance use disorder is characterized by overuse of a substance which affects the person's wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. Individuals suffering from this disorder have their social life and obligations severely affected. Such an individual, for example, is unable to work, provide for his or her family or even relate with others.
Substance use disorder has a number of signs and symptoms. The compulsive nature of drugs involved in this type of disorder makes for a distinction between the types of symptoms. They can be either physical or psychological. In the physical dependence, withdrawal of a substance results with an individual having physical symptoms of withdrawal. These symptoms can be in form of tremors, sweating and foaming in the mouth. Some of the substances that can induce physical symptoms of withdrawal include alcohol, barbiturates and nicotine. With psychological dependence, withdrawing a substance induces emotional symptoms of withdrawal such as an individual being restless, having a depressed mood and being irritable. Some drugs only induce physical symptoms without the accompanying psychological symptoms like blood pressure drugs. Others can display psychological symptoms with no physical ones like cocaine where individuals in withdrawal have extreme emotions with no accompanying physical symptoms like vomiting and sweating. However, most of the drugs have both physical and psychological symptoms. I will however restrict this essay to the psychological effects of the substance abuse as seen in the film.
A number of studies have been conducted to investigate the factors that drive individuals to abuse drugs and alcohol. These studies have looked at variables that are good predictors that leads to an individual being at a high risk of abusing drugs or alcohol. Examples of predictor variables includes an individual coming from a single-parent home, the individual was neglected as a child, the individual was

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