General Psychology

The Consequence of Ideas & Substance Use Disorder (SUDs)


The Seeds of Ideas & How They Relate to Outcomes


            Ideas are like seeds, which can grow into all types of outcomes and consequences.  However, fortunately, life’s questions (seeds) can be thoroughly analyzed before they deploy into consequences.  Sproul (2009) addresses the relationship between ideas and consequences using a series of philosophers and researchers throughout the course of history.  He also easily proves that the concept of an idea is not limited to a specific time but spans across all generations and infinitely into the future. Additionally, the concept of the idea and its consequences can be applied to nearly any facet of life or area of research, including (for example), Substance Use Disorder (SUDs).

Summarizing The Consequences of Ideas

            The consequence of an idea has been suggested to have the potential of boundless capability throughout time. Specifically, Sproul (2009) offers that an idea can even grow throughout generations, such as those which come from some of history’s greatest philosophers. Idea-churning scholars such as Aristotle, Plato, Descartes, Darwin, and Nietzsche are some of those referenced throughout Sproul’s work. The author suggests that the ideas of these individuals are still helping to shape and modify the world as we know it in modern times. In fact, it is more than mildly insinuated that all ideas in modern times are a development of the past ideas already at play, derivatives and far from novel by any means (2009).

The Consequences of Ideas and Substance Abuse

            It is important for an addict to understand the ideas which formulate their behavior and guide their decision making.  The choice of the addict to use a substance for the first time, for the second time, or indefinitely, has its own series of consequences.  Some of these consequences affect the user’s health, their family and friends, and their financial situation.  Unfortunately, the ideas which spawn addiction, are not new even in modern times; however, these ideas are derivatives of a long ploy of addictive tendency, popular notions, and historical facts.  For instance, it is commonly known that marijuana is a gateway drug, proposing an individual will begin using other drugs after their addiction to marijuana matures (Williams, 2020). It is also well-known that an addict will often struggle to kick a drug habit (Smith et al., 2010), further compounding their addiction problem.

Substance Abuse

            Fortunately, there are favorable ideas which have spawned in modern times surrounding addiction and substance abuse.  For instance, the idea that SUDs can be more effectively treated with the use of spiritualism, religiosity, and theological study is becoming more commonly accepted as empirical methodology for treatment (Engs & Mullen, 1999). It is also becoming more common to see professional resources made available for addicts, as addictions are better understood (Nestler, 2005). This could be a result of the information age’s collection of empirical studies and data, as well as understanding that this research comes as a derivative of past research, building up over the course of time. Obviously, this is similar to Sproul’s (2009) concepts that ideas are mostly derivative and far from novel.

            It is reasonable to suggest that the concept of an idea, especially a taboo idea such as drug use, comes with a great deal of negative stigma. This could make it more difficult to resolve problems surrounding SUDs, despite the profound importance of resolving the issue.  Friends, family, and professionals alike may struggle to avoid passing judgement upon SUDs victims, making treatment more difficult.  This concept of negative stigma and judgment could be called an idea, and one which also stems from a long history of compacted negative energy. Utilizing Sproul’s (2009) concepts of building bridges to resolve these problems can still be of assistance when it comes to formulating adequate and effective treatment plans; and of course, this makes Sproul’s work far more valuable to the addict than may initially meet the eye. This is even true for the darkest of addictions, which may have been surrounded by some of the most judgmental assumptions and stereotypes available.


            In the end, ideas can have consequences in all realms of life, including in terms of substance abuse.  It is obvious that ideas can grow, and growing ideas can be fortuitous or hazardous, depending upon the field of idea.  When it comes to substance abuse, the ideas which start as seeds can sometimes lead to trees of death, some with few branches and some with many branches.  Fortunately, there is an alternate perspective which holds that an idea could cure an addict.  For this reason, ideas should be viewed as tools, mechanisms of control and opportunity, rather than maligned with suffering or disaster.


Engs, R. C. and Mullen, K. (1999) “The Effect of Religion and Religiosity on Drug Use Among a Selected Sample of Post Secondary Students in Scotland.” Addiction Research, 7:149-170. Retrieved from IUScholarWorks Repository:

Nestler, E. (2005). Is There a Common Molecular Pathway for Addiction? Nature Neuroscience. Neurobiology of Addiction: Perspective. DOI: 10.1038/nn1578

Smith, D. C., Cleeland, L., & Dennis, M. L. (2010). Reasons for quitting among emerging adults and adolescents in substance-use-disorder treatment. Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs, 71(3), 400–409.

Sproul, R. (2009). The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding the Concepts that Shaped Our World. Crossway. ISBN: 978-1-58.

Williams A. R. (2020). Cannabis as a Gateway Drug for Opioid Use Disorder. The Journal of law, medicine & ethics : a journal of the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 48(2), 268–274.

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