Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences

Date of Last Revision

2023-05-08 17:12:55


Criminology and Criminal Justice

Honors Course


Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2023


Substance use disorders and addiction have become increasingly serious problems in the United States. Diseases of this nature revolve around problematic patterns of substance use and abuse of alcohol, illicit drugs, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medications. Substance use disorders are not limited to a certain demographic, which makes treatment of these illnesses complicated and multifaceted (Argyriou et al., 2017). This review paper will focus on age-related effects on substance use, and how age is consequential to the effectiveness of drug addiction treatment. The literature review focuses on the onset and progression of substance use disorders and treatment for these disorders for each age category: juveniles and adolescents, adults, and the elderly. Additionally, I evaluate how addiction and addiction treatment interacts with the United States criminal justice system. According to sociological, criminological, psychological, and biological theories and research, the age of an individual has a substantial impact on the development of a substance use disorder (McLaughlin and Newburn, 2010). As the nature of substance use disorders differs so drastically depending on the age of the individual, addiction treatment should be personalized according to the current stage of one’s life course, rather than streamlined for all receiving treatment. Evidence-based practices, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, must be implemented in the realm of treatment, both within and outside of the criminal justice system, based on the respective ages of those undergoing rehabilitation.

Research Sponsor

Insun Park

First Reader

Lia Wiley

Second Reader

David Licate

Honors Faculty Advisor

David Licate

Proprietary and/or Confidential Information




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