What Are The Main Models of Addiction?

 Throughout history, we have tried to understand the concept of drug use and why only certain people get addicted. There have been many theories that have been developed over time that provide us with explanations for drug use. Some of these theories were developed into models which help us define a problem or situation so we can understand it more easily.

The models listed below are among the most influential in the development of drug treatment and policies. These models influence how we care for individuals who have issues with drugs. You may be able to relate better with some versus others.

Main Models of Addiction

Disease Model of Addiction

The most common model of addiction and one that most treatment places in the United States use are the disease model of addiction. The disease model of addiction believes that addiction is an illness and is a result of the impairment of healthy neurochemical and behavioral processes.

This model assumes that addiction lies within the individual and that addiction is a disease. It says that addiction is either present or it’s not, and that addicted people cannot control their intake of any substance. They are powerless over stopping themselves.

The Moral Model of Addiction

The moral model of addiction states that addiction is a result of the person being weak and having defects of character. Those who believe in this model believe there is no biological basis for addiction. This model says if the person has greater moral strength or willpower they or could break an addiction. The moral model is widely applied to dependency on illegal substances, but no longer has any therapeutic value.

The Temperance Model of Addiction

The temperance model of addiction started back in the 19th century with prohibition. It states that there is no such thing as moderation and that abstinence is the only alternative. The core belief of this model is that the addictive and destructive power of the drug is strong and it is the drug itself that’s the problem.

The Genetic Model of Addiction

The genetic model of addiction believes there is a genetic predisposition to certain behaviors. It states that certain addictions run in the family. Research is continuing to be done to explore genetic influence, but there is strong evidence that genetic predisposition is often a factor in dependency.

The Opponent-Process Model of Addiction

This model states that for every psychological event there is an opposite psychological event. For instance, for every pleasurable experience, there is an unpleasurable experience. For example, someone takes heroin and feels a euphoric high from it, this is followed by an opponent process of experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Another example would be someone experiencing terror before jumping out of a plane, the opposite effect would be them experiencing pleasure when the parachute opens.

The Personality Model of Addiction

The personality model of addiction views substance abuse as having abnormalities in personality. It states that the person has an addictive personality, lacks impulse control, has low self-esteem, the inability to cope with stress, is egocentric, has manipulative traits, and has a need for control and power while feeling impotent and powerless. This model also believes that substantial restructuring of their personality is necessary for successful treatment.

The Social Education Model of Addiction

This model believes that addiction is a learned behavior that comes from cognitive processes, modeling influences, and genetic and behavioral influences. Theorists emphasize human-environment interactions as the key to shaping addiction behavior. They believe that imitating behavior one has observed as well as being influenced by role models is part of forming the behavior and treating it.

The Cultural Model of Addiction

The cultural model of addiction says that the influence of a person’s culture is a strong factor as to whether or not they fall prey to certain addictions. In some countries, alcohol is prohibited so therefore alcoholism is rare there. In the United States, gambling is common so gambling addictions have increased dramatically over the last two decades of the 20th century. Studies show that half of those with alcoholism are born into families with alcoholism. This suggests that genetic and familial influence play a vital role in the development of addiction and/or alcoholism.

Help For Drug Addiction and Substance Abuse

Evoke Wellness treatment centers offer a safe and comfortable environment for medical detoxification. Our patients are treated extensively so that minimal discomfort is experienced during the detox process. We provide residential treatment in a structured environment and then provide you with aftercare support which is very important when being treated for addiction. Evoke Wellness is here to help you get on the road to long-term recovery.

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