9 2 Theories of Substance Use Addiction Drugs, Health, Addictions & Behaviour 1st Canadian Edition

Further, by changing the responsiveness of dopamine receptors, methamphetamine blunts the experience of reward from normal sources of pleasure. Depressive agents such as sedatives and tranquilizers are widely used medically to combat stress, anxiety, and sleep disorders, but NIDA reports that 3.5 to 5 percent of the population uses tranquilizers and sleeping pills nonmedically. As described by the informants, protection from violence, safe housing and a predictable income are crucial elements in the recovery process.

Biological theory

This provides a platform for understanding how those influences become embedded in the biology of the brain, which provides a biological roadmap for prevention and intervention. In recent years, the conceptualization of addiction as a brain disease has come under increasing criticism. When first put forward, the brain disease view was mainly an attempt to articulate an effective response to prevailing nonscientific, moralizing, and stigmatizing attitudes to addiction. According to these attitudes, addiction was simply the result of a person’s moral failing or weakness of character, rather than a “real” disease [3]. To promote patient access to treatments, scientists needed to argue that there is a biological basis beneath the challenging behaviors of individuals suffering from addiction. This argument was particularly targeted to the public, policymakers and health care professionals, many of whom held that since addiction was a misery people brought upon themselves, it fell beyond the scope of medicine, and was neither amenable to treatment, nor warranted the use of taxpayer money.

psychological model of addiction

Addiction as a brain disease revised: why it still matters, and the need for consilience

Using substances to cope, feel better, and belong may reduce anxiety, restlessness, disturbing emotions, and feelings of hopelessness and loneliness [14, 19]. The substances affect the brain’s central functions, including dopamine production and executive functions, with a consequent craving for substances and impaired impulse control [47, 49]. This may involve reckless behaviour that is often incomprehensible to other people and may lead to stigma and shame [16, 18, 48]. Mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, may increase [29], and it may be difficult to maintain social relationships, everyday parenting responsibilities and work routines [18, 34].

  • A plurality of disciplines brings important and trenchant insights to bear on this condition; it is the exclusive remit of no single perspective or field.
  • All manuscripts must include an abstract containing a maximum of 250 words typed on a separate page.
  • For Freud, the goal of psychoanalysis was to strengthen the ego, and to give it more control over the id and more independence from the superego.
  • In addition to the points raised here about the individual models, it isclear that both models would be further strengthened by addressing certain commongaps in their conceptualizations.
  • There are five stages to the recovery process identified by the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery training for recovery coaches.

ORCID reviewer recognition

The fact that normal anatomy shapes healthy organ function does not negate that an altered structure can contribute to pathophysiology of disease. Critics further state that a “genetic predisposition is not a recipe for compulsion”, but no neuroscientist or geneticist would claim that genetic risk is “a recipe for compulsion”. However, as we will see below, in the case of addiction, it contributes to large, consistent probability shifts towards maladaptive behavior.

The Informants

  • What is more, it can sensitize the stress response system so that it overresponds to minimal levels of threat, making people feel easily overwhelmed by life’s normal difficulties.
  • They do identify a core group of treatment seeking individuals with a reliable diagnosis, but, if applied to nonclinical populations, also flag as “cases” a considerable halo of individuals for whom the diagnostic categorization is unreliable.
  • The task of the rodent addiction model is not only the modeling ofpeople’s normal, controlled, socially acceptable alcohol use but also thedifferentiable modeling of compulsive dysregulated use.
  • Key among those are claims that spontaneous remission rates are high; that a specific brain pathology is lacking; and that people suffering from addiction, rather than behaving “compulsively”, in fact show a preserved ability to make informed and advantageous choices.
  • Again, the changes are primarily due to alterations in an individual’s neurobiology that occur as a result of interaction between experience and physiology.
  • There are many available preregistration forms (e.g., the APA Preregistration for Quantitative Research in Psychology template,, or other preregistration templates available via OSF).
  • This compatibility with other theories and research findings allows thebehavioral economics model to be an agile framework for describing addiction that iscongruent with a broad range of research findings.
  • Completed preregistration forms should be posted on a publicly accessible registry system (e.g., OSF,, or other trial registries in the WHO Registry Network).
  • By addressing the emotional and cognitive factors underlying addiction, treatment approaches informed by this model can support individuals in developing healthier coping strategies and more adaptive beliefs, ultimately promoting lasting recovery.

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