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Models of Addiction

There are different models of addiction and it’s up to the patient to be able to find the substance abuse center that incorporates the model of addiction that matches their values and beliefs. 

The sociocultural and psychological model of addiction describes the outside influences as well as what genetic predisposition can have on an addict. Cultural attitudes play a big role in abuse of alcohol. For example, if an individual is surrounded by people in their cultural who are heavy drinkers, they are more likely accepting this concept and become a heavy drinker as well.  Another example is the opposite.  If a religious organization prohibits drinking completely and an individual doesn’t know how to handle moderation, they could be more likely to indulge and abuse alcohol excessively. The psychological part of this model has a theory that alcohol addiction or drug addiction is the result of some other psychological problem that a person has such as depression or anxiety.  Another theory is that addiction is a social learning theory. When children see adults using alcohol or drugs in social situations, having fun, they are more likely to view this as acceptable.  Once they start using alcohol or drugs themselves they can become addicts as a result of the social learning theory.

The moral model defines addiction to alcohol and drugs as a personal choice with consequences. Religious groups and the legal system typically use this model.  Also, this is what the majority of outsiders or people who have never had an addiction or problem use.  If an addict is surrounded by people who believe in only the moral model of addiction they are less likely to seek the help they need and will try to solve their problem on their own.

The disease concept of addiction is a controversial model that positions the concept as a person’s primary disease and not a result of another condition. This disease is viewed as chronic and incurable and once an addict understands that they have this disease they must also understand that it will last a lifetime. There is evidence to support this concept as well as critics who criticize the concept.

There’s always options when it comes to substance abuse treatment and like I said it is critical for recovery to be able to find a treatment that fits the needs of the patient. 

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