Students response down below:
The theory that best fits addiction is the disease model of addiction. The disease model melds the biological model with the dispositional disease model (Heim, 2018.) T he biological model theorizes that genetics and abnormalities in processing alcohol/drugs are important factors in addiction (Heim, 2018.) While the dispositional disease model focuses on the difference inherent between an alcoholic/addict versus a nonalcoholic/addict (Heim, 2018.) Alcoholics Anonymous emphasizes this difference by stating on multiple occasions by focusing on how alcoholics/addicts are bodily and mentally different from other people (200 1.) The disease model showcases these two instances perfectly by looking at the bodily (biological) and the mental (dispositional) aspects of addiction. The disease model is a more inclusive approach to thinking about addiction and allows for a multipronged approach to treatment. As with most disorders there are multiple aspects to treatment. For example, individuals with depression may benefit from pharmacotherapy but a combination of pharmacotherapy and individual counseling links to better outcomes for that individual (K. Brandon, BBA, FNP-C, PMHNP-BC, personal communication, February 15, 2018.) T his is simil ar to what the disease model allows for with addiction.
The addict/alcoholic is bodily different from his fellows in that the consumption of alcohol or drugs elicits the response of a craving, triggers an allergy, that makes it virtually impossible for that individual to cease drinking/using once started (Alcoholics Anonymous, 2001; Heim, 2018.) A viewpoint on this is that the individual can not control the amount they will take once they start drinking/using. The only treatment for this is complete absti nence (Alcoholics Anonymous, 2001; Heim, 2018.) The mental piece is that there is this delusion that the alcoholic/addict individual believes that this time when they drink/use it will be different; that they can just have one or they won’t make a fool of themselves this time (Alcoholics Anonymous, 2001; Heim, 2018.) Another way of thinking of this is that this individual does not have a choice on whether s/he is going to drink/use again. There are many different treatment options available to assist with this, but I will focus on the Alcoholics Anonymous solution to this. Alcoholics Anonymous posits that an individual is without the power to stop and stay stopped, so the answer is to get connected to a Power that is greater than themselves (2001.) The methodology of connecting to that power is working the steps typically with another individual. Once a connection is made the mental piece will be removed and the same individual can view alcohol/drugs with a more rational perspective and be able to see the consequence of that potential use. This isn’t a cure for addiction, but it is one way that an individual can manage their disease; by continuing to seek this Power and helping others (Alcoholics Anonymous, 2001.)
Addiction has been defined as a disease for many decades by the American Medical Association (AMA) (Heim, 2018. ) Alcoholics Anonymous states that it is a dise ase of the mind and body (2001.) As recent as 2011 the American Society of Addiction Medicine(ASAM) defined it as a disease that centers in the brain (ASAM, 2011 . ) This definition helps to pinpoint the crux of the problem and showcases the continued medical belief that addiction is in fact a disease. This definition points to the biopsychosocial aspect of the disease model treatment modality. I n that it looks at genetic predisposition (bio), moods and behaviors (psycho), and social factors like family, friends, economic, and legal (ASAM, 2011.)
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