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Bshs 455 - Conceptualizing Addiction Paper

Autor:   •  December 13, 2016  •  Research Paper  •  987 Words (4 Pages)  •  498 Views

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Conceptualizing Addiction Paper

Jessica Liska


November 5, 2016

Laura Snell

Conceptualizing Addiction Paper


Individuals have been battling substance abuse and addiction since the dawn of time. Per McNeece and DiNitto (2012), people continue to use drugs to the point of becoming dependent on drugs both physically and psychologically, and the reasons for this are becoming more complex. There have been those who have tried to reason out this phenomenon by calling it a disease, or a learned behavior or a genetic affluence. There are others though, who call it a “rewiring of the brain.” (McNeece & DiNittto, 2012) There is no one theory that can effectively elucidate addiction. Addiction, involves the compulsive seeking if drugs in which there can be substance abuse related problems, such as withdrawal, tolerance buildup, and compulsive drug buying and using. There isn’t one theory that explains the etiology of addiction. (McNeece & DiNitto). This paper will compare two models of conceptualizing addiction, as well as summarize which theory will be the most useful when helping to intervene with someone who is suffering from addiction.

The Moral Model

One of the earliest theories that is used to explain the etiology of addiction, in the sinful nature of mankind. (McNeece & DiNitto, 2012) Since it’s nearly impossible to show empirical evidence of this type of nature, the moral model of addiction has been thrown out by many modern scholars. Despite this however, treating addiction as a sin or moral weakness continues to influence public policy makers regarding abuse. (McNeece & DiNitto, 2012)

Competing Views

        Models petition to our practicality because of our liberal views. Free will and individual sovereignty are highly sought after ideas today. Addicts are individuals with free will, and may people consider their choices those of someone who is making rational choices, and that they reason they are addicted to drugs is because they have bad morals. However, even those who have good morals use drugs users also, often time using substances such as alcohol or pot. So it doesn’t matter if the morals are both good and bad, addiction could hit easily. In the face of this new reality, the model is insufficient to explain drug addiction.

The Disease Model

        This model of addiction revolves around three assumptions to a predilection of drug use, the loss of control over the individuals use and the progression of the drug use itself. Physiological altercations within the brain cause an undeniable urge to take more and more drugs. (McNeece & DiNitto, 2012) Addiction is a disease, one that we haven’t found a cure to. It can be said that it has a side effect, the use of substances such as alcohol or drugs. This model explains that because addiction is a disease, addicts cannot be held responsible for the use of drugs to ease their symptoms.


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