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Drug Abuse, Addiction, Substance Use Disorder

Use this guide to begin your research on substance use disorder, addiction

Key Search Words

Use the words below to search for useful information in books and articles.

  • substance use disorder 
  • substance abuse
  • drug addiction
  • substance addiction
  • chemical dependency
  • war on drugs
  • names of specific drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin
  • opioid crisis

Start Learning About Your Topic

Background Reading:

It's important to begin your research learning something about your subject; in fact, you won't be able to create a focused, manageable thesis unless you already know something about your topic.

This step is important so that you will:

  • Begin building your core knowledge about your topic
  • Be able to put your topic in context
  • Create research questions that drive your search for information
  • Create a list of search terms that will help you find relevant information
  • Know if the information you’re finding is relevant and useful

If you're working from off campus, you'll be prompted to log in just like you do for your MJC email or Canvas courses. 

Top Picks:

All of these resources are free for MJC students, faculty, & staff. 

Other eBooks from the MJC Library collection:

Create Research Questions to Focus Your Topic

Use some of the questions below to help you narrow this broad topic. See "substance abuse" in our Developing Research Questions guide for an example of research questions on a focused study of drug abuse. 

  • In what ways is drug abuse a serious problem? 
  • What drugs are abused?
  • Who abuses drugs?
  • What causes people to abuse drugs?
  • How do drug abusers' actions affect themselves, their families, and their communities?
  • What resources and treatment are available to drug abusers?
  • What are the laws pertaining to drug use?
  • What are the arguments for legalizing drugs?
  • What are the arguments against legalizing drugs?
  • Is drug abuse best handled on a personal, local, state or federal level?
  • Based on what I have learned from my research what do I think about the issue of drug abuse?

Find Books in the Library Catalog

Why Use Books:

Use books to read broad overviews and detailed discussions of your topic. You can also use books to find primary sources, which are often published together in collections.

Where Do I Find Books?

You'll use the library catalog to search for books, ebooks, articles, and more.

What if MJC Doesn't Have What I Need?

If you need materials (books, articles, recordings, videos, etc.) that you cannot find in the library catalog, use our interlibrary loan service.

Find Articles in Library Databases

All of these resources are free for MJC students, faculty, & staff.

If you're working from off campus, you'll be prompted to log in just like you do for your MJC email or Canvas courses. 

Find Web Resources

Use Google Scholar to find scholarly literature on the Web:

Google Scholar Search

Browse Featured Web Sites:

Cite Your Sources

Your instructor should tell you which citation style they want you to use. Click on the appropriate link below to learn how to format your paper and cite your sources according to a particular style.