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AC 101 PsychoSocial Issues in Addiction - Jazwinski and Baker: Search Strategy

This guide will help students in Psychosocial Issues in Addiction with their term projects.

Find your Keywords

When searching the databases for articles, do not type in whole sentences.

You can start with your Psychological or Social Issue and add your Social Group and Addiction Issue or whichever order you wish.

Social Group: Veterans

  +Psychological Issue: PTSD

      +Addiction Issue: Alcohol Use

= Research Topic: Do veterans use alcohol to self-mediate for PTSD?


Search using the terms Veterans AND PTSD AND Alcohol Use

Think of other terms that mean the same or something similar (broader or narrower) to your original terms and try searching with those keywords too.

Veterans: Vets; Military; Soldiers

PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; Stress; Anxiety;

Alcohol Use:  Drinking; Alcoholism; Alcohol Abuse, Alcohol Use Disorder, AUD


Use the asterisk * to truncate words and widen your search. Alcohol* will search for Alcohol, Alcoholic and Alcoholism etc.

Try your search terms in different combinations in the databases to get the greatest number of results.


Military AND Stress AND Drinking

Vets AND Anxiety AND Alcohol*


You may need to broaden or narrow your terms depending on your search results:

Opiates (Broader) vs Fentanyl (Narrower)

PTSD (Narrower) vs Stress (Broader)


See the tab "Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles" for suggested databases and search tips, plus help on saving and printing your article.


Psychological and Social Issues

You will need to choose a psychological or sociological issue  - NOT a biological, chemical or genetic issue - and research how they relate to addiction.

Some examples (this is NOT a definitive list of options).


  • Depression
  • Job Stress
  • Peer Pressure
  • Bullying
  • Aggression
  • PTSD
  • Self Esteem


  • Elderly
  • Native American
  • Gender
  • Sexual-Orientation
  • Unemployed
  • College-Educated
  • Single-Parent
  • Disabled
  • Veterans
  • Nurses
  • Homeless
  • Uninsured

You will explore the psychological and/or social issues that impact the onset of substance use disorder, the course leading to addiction and/or the outcome. Including the probability of recovery, the course of recovery and difference in treatment needs.

Or research a controversial issue such as:

  •  Legalization or de-criminalization of drugs
  •  Methadone maintenance versus drug free treatment
  •  Addiction as a public health versus a criminal justice issue

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