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Bshs 455 - Conceptualizing Addiction

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Conceptualizing Addiction


Kathleen Parks

February 12, 2016

Cathrine Harm


        The study of addiction has left many with asking questions as to why people do drugs. People use drugs and alcohol for various reasons. There are numerous models and theories that investigate addiction and attempt to give explanations and causes of addiction. Addiction causes can be looked at a person’s background, environment, education and genetics to name a few. It takes audacity for anyone to face up to any type of addiction. One step to overcoming addiction is to first acknowledge that the addiction exists. Once an individual confesses that the addiction occurs, the steps to getting help can begin. Helping from counseling, support groups, inpatient or outpatient medical care and spiritual assistance can begin to take place.

Compare/Contrast models

        There are many theories that was well as definition to explain what addiction is. Two models that will be compared and contrasted are the Moral Model and the Psychodynamic Theory. A collaboration of models and theories have to be looked at in order to help a person heal from an addiction.

        The Moral Model is based on the fact that humans have weaknesses. It is assumed that there are defects in individual’s characters that case them to become addicted.  The Moral Model stress that there is no biological basis for bias for addiction. The Moral Model tends to stress sympathy for people with addiction. This model believe that person’s with greater moral strength can have the force of will to break addiction. The Moral Model believes that addicts are weak and have no willpower. The Moral Model believes that drug abusers chose to use drugs, are anti-social and sinful.

        The Psychodynamic Model looks at many events that may have taken place to onset the addiction. This model also discusses and has blamed the development of alcoholism on the failure of mothers to provide milk (McNeece & DiNitto, 2012). Psychodynamic Theory is based on the premise that human behavior and relationships are shaped by conscious and unconscious influences. The Psychodynamic Theory states that drug abusers are self-medicating, have underlying psychological problems and drug abusers need to solve inner conflict; once they do that, they will realize that drug use is unnecessary.

        Both compare in the fact that they believe an addict or abuser can morally and internally resolve the need for drug use. The model and theory believe that if a person really thinks about what they are doing and address issues inside that are problematic, then they will not have the need or desire to become indulged in addictions. Both believe that behavior and will power has something to do with a person’s addiction. They differ in that the Moral Model believes that drugs are caused by evil and sin, but the Psychodynamic Theory believes that psychological problems are the cause of addiction.


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