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Drugs in Perspective: Models of Addiction

The Moral Model of Addiction

Needless to say, the moral model of addiction is a notion that has very little in common with the biological or genetic components of addiction. The genetic and biological explanation sounds more scholarly, whereas when talking about the moral model of addiction the prior feature that comes to mind is the censure. By the moral model of addiction, the result of human weakness is meant. Also, it is regarded as a defect in character. One of the limitations of this model is the opinion that the addicts make poor decisions that subsequently lead them to addiction because they lack willpower or inside strength. I cannot fully agree with this statement as one’s behavior also depends on society and the level of living wage he/she has.

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The Disease Model of Addiction

The disease model of addiction is a lifelong addiction of a person. This is considered to involve both biological and social impacts on a human. It is important that the disease model of addiction is the abnormal condition that is accompanied by the dysfunction or distress of an individual. The strong part of this model is that the medical approach requires considering the changes in the mesolimbic pathway which makes it completely clear within the medical treatment. However, the medical model of addiction also comprises psychological and environmental influences that are a bit controversial to the previous statement and makes the model vulnerable.

Bio-psycho-social-spiritual Model

Fortunately, clinicians nowadays examine patients broadly once they get to the hospital and require to be diagnosed. The broad approach is called Bio-psycho-social-spiritual. This is the kind of all-around assessment of an individual taking into consideration all of the spheres of our life. The drawback of this model is that the doctor does not really know precisely the way of life his/her patient has. Thus, it is always difficult to guess which sphere has the most impact on life.

Sixth Model – Own Perspective – Physiological Model

It is hard to suggest any other model of addiction after the proposed five. However, the physiological model suggests regarding addiction as a need for certain substances for functioning. Although those are not the nutrients, some addicts say they consume drugs in order to enhance brain work.

Drug Administration

Since it is important ‘how quickly the drug enters the bloodstream and how it is distributed to the site of action, as well as how much will ultimately reach its target’ (Hanson, p.146), let me list the drug administration methods from the most effective one to the method that takes longer to act:

  1. Subcutaneous;
  2. Inhalation;
  3. Parenteral;
  4. Sublingual and buccal;
  5. Oral;
  6. Vaginal;
  7. Rectal;
  8. Topical.


Neurotransmission is a process of transmitting electrical impulses through the neurons. The impulse is produced once the neurons are stimulated. The communication between neurons is called synaptic transmission. It is important to know in order to understand the process, thus helping the addict cope with it.

Substance abuse and substance dependence

Substance abuse is not considered dependent, though does not exclude dependency, whereas substance dependence certainly means consuming the substance regularly despite the vital need to do it. Substance dependence can be diagnosed as psychological dependence.

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CNS depressants’ impact

The depressants have a tendency to be addictive physically and psychologically. A counselor should be concerned about the addict in case he/she takes depressants because ultimate withdrawal from the CNS depressants cause rebounding symptoms after the brain has been suppressed. Besides, the body can get used to the CNS depressant hence the next time a larger dose will be needed.

Popular central nervous system stimulant

The most popular central nervous system stimulant is MDMA. Though the government does everything possible, still its hidden availability is pretty obvious. It comes in the forms of tablet, capsule, or powder/crystal form. Until 1985 ‘ecstasy’ was used in medical care for the treatment of depression. The effects are hypertension, anorexia, euphoria, social disinhibition, insomnia. The possession of MDMA may result in criminal prosecution.

Understanding the DSM-IV-TR system

Once a counselor totally understands the system of DSM-IV-TR he/she is able to diagnose an addict: whether one has a psychic disease, psychopathy, somatic disease, or influenced by psychosocial factors. There are five axes. The first is about the reversible abnormalities. The second – personal disorders. The third contains the list of somatic or psychosomatic diseases. The forth contains sustained psychosocial stress (divorse, death of the beloved one). The fifth axis characterizes the highest level of functioning ranking it from 90 to 1 ( 1 – is the worst result)

  • Case II: Larry, 46
    • The stage of substance abuse is ‘Dependence’ because Larry is consuming alcohol repeatedly in order to calm down from the stress of the job;
    • The starting point of drinking was an argument with his wife which subsequently led to break up;
    • Is there a desire to get alcohol no matter what in cases when he has none? (This would help assessing the stage he is at more precisely)
    • Setting the trustworthy relations with the addict. Setting the housekeeping rules.
  • Case III: Sarah, 34.
    • Regular Use;
    • She is afraid to remain an old maid. The sexual relations have never been experienced. Is undergoing a depression because of being unclaimed. Also, ‘disabling depression’ (Fields, p. 151)
    • Is the absence of sex a result of introversion or religious beliefs?
    • Personality test is applicable.
  • Case IV: Barry, 39.
    • Regular Stage of substance abuse;
    • Depression related to divorce;
    • What is his current status among his colleagues? Were there any other therapy attempts?
    • Anti-drug program. Discussing the steps he can make when he has complaints or concerns. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. (Tate, p.191)

Works Cited

Fields, Richard. Drugs in Perspective. New York: McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages, 2009. Print.

Hanson Glen, Venturelli Peter, et al. Drugs and Society. Boston: Jones and Burtlett Publishers, 2008. Print.

Tate, Philip., Ellis, Albert. Alcohol: How to Give It Up and Be Glad You Did. Tucson: See Sharp Press, 1996. Print.

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