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Bshs 455 - Conceptualizing Addiction

Autor:   •  October 31, 2015  •  Essay  •  825 Words (4 Pages)  •  333 Views

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Conceptualizing Addiction

Kathleen Cube

BSHS 455

August 31,2015

Bridgette Hernandez

Addiction plaques people of all races, ethnicity, and age. According to ASAM,  “Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations.”  Individually, most understand that when one has an addiction; this compulsion can control the entirety  of their lives leaving an immense amount of personal and collateral damage.  As a society, it can be assumed that we grasp the danger, severity and complexity of addiction , but the gaining an understanding of the how or why someone develops an addiction is a different story.  

Over time a vast number of models and theories have developed in order to explain such a phenomena within an individuals life.  In the early years there was the moral model which indicated addiction was a personal choice and demonstrated an individuals lack of moral compass and strength. Today, when attempting to explain the how and why of addiction the models and theories vary from a number of viewpoints. The most comply referenced is the psychological and biological models to conceptualize addiction.

Psychological Model

The psychological model of addiction incorporates a number of theories such as cognitive behavioral, personality and learning theories. (McNeece & DiNitto,  2012) Psychological theories do not exclude the reality that there are social and environmental factors that impact the likelihood of one becoming an addict, but this model primarily focus on the individual phenomenon. Psychodynamic theories identify that people use substances as a way of dealing with traumatic experiences, toxic or negative relationship  and an inability to express emotions. This model includes the examination of learned behaviors, lack of coping skills to deal with stressors and personality traits of the addictive personality.   This model does not claim for their to be cure ; it more so focuses on finding healthier ways to cope with past, present and future stressors and traumas. Common when utilizing the psychological model is treating addiction the focus is on changing one’s thought processes, and reactions in order to manifest itself in healthier choices for an overall therapeutic outcome.

        Biological Model

The biological model is also referred to as the “disease model” of addiction. This model commonly compares addition to conditions such as diabetes and cancer.  Similar to diabetes and cancer there is no cure only preventive measures and choices that once can make in order to control the outcomes and resurfacing of such diseases. The biological model identifies that there is a genetic factor when examine the etiology of addiction.  When examine the bases of a genetic predisposition this model does acknowledge that there need to be an environmental exposure or factor interceding.  This theory does not claim that just because one has addiction within their family they will become an addict, but it does state that such an individual is more susceptible to developing an addiction.


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