Year 3 student's substance addiction research gets green light for publication

Published on

Student looking into camera

Is public understanding of addiction based on the amount or the dependency? How do perceptions differ from gambling to gaming, or from alcohol to narcotics? Year 3 student Seth Jamieson explores this and more in his recent research project.  

It was during the first national lockdown that year 3 student Seth Jamieson got to thinking about substance addiction and how public perceptions of such are formed.  

My brothers were arguing about how many units of alcohol a week defines addiction. They believed the amount rather than the dependence was more important.

"I thought it would be interesting to look into public understanding of addiction and whether views were shaped by the substance or behaviour involved." 

Seth dived into the research and made some interesting findings,

We discovered that participants were more willing to define a peer as a gambling addict than a cocaine, alcohol or gaming addict.

"Participants were even likely to define someone as a gambling addict when they were not addicted. This was interesting when compared to participants' understanding of alcohol addiction, where serious addictions were not recognised and minor addictions were seen as normal." 

The research has now been given the go ahead for publication in The Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence and Seth is passionate about the impact further education on the topic could have.

"Sadly, participants failed to recognise minor addictions across all categories. If we could educate the population to recognise minor addictions and discuss this with their peers, we may be able to reduce the number of people who progress to major addictions. This would improve people's lives and relieve the burden on society." 

Congratulations Seth!