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HLTH 237 (18)
Ron Shore (17)
Lecture 4

Models of Addiction, Week 4.docx

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Health Studies
HLTH 237
Ron Shore

Theories of Drug Dependency  Theories try to explain how the world works o Eg how to explain drug use?  Why do people use?  Why do some people become addicted and not others?  What can we learn from addiction?  Why do people start? How do they stop?  Treatments and interventions are based on theories o Different definitions of the problem have different treatments  Eg drug use as reinforcement or learned behaviour Moral/Deviant Model  Drug use as bad, immoral  Person is week  Addiction is a consequence of bad personal choices  Individuals are responsible for their own behaviour o They can choose not to use  Eg “just say no” Disease Model  Substance dependency as involuntary biological trait  Some people are more susceptible than others  Inherited and worsens over time  Removes moral and social disgrace o Position as “medical problem”  Promoted by alcoholics anonymous to increase care for the addicted  Person is still seen as responsible, but now they are viewed as needing treatment  Benefits to Disease Model o Less judgmental o More concerned for the individual o Increased access to care and treatment services  Limits o Ignores social conditions o Gives power to medical providers  Why is this Model Popular? o Well known by AA o Rooted in history  Opiate addiction etc o Its easy to treat people with medicine, people like power of medicine Genetic Biological Theory  Alcoholism and other forms of dependence as an inherited disorder  Alcoholism is strongly familial  Can have inherited personality traits o Can influence tendency towards alcoholism  Evidence o Alcoholics 5x more likely to have alcoholic relative o ¼ of alcoholics have fathers or brothers that are alcoholics o 40-60% of alcoholism vulnerability can be genetic Psychological Theories  Focus on observable behaviours  How the behaviour is learned, modified, and reinforced o Focus on the individuals behaviour  Learning Theory o Behavioural  Stimulus, reinforcement o Learning occurs with reinforcement o A new behaviour can be brought on by a negative or positive experience  People repeat behaviours that give reward or pleasure  Behaviours stop if experience is painful or punishment o Negative reinforcement  Withdrawal  Something is taken away (the drug) but will reinforce the behaviour because you want to get the pleasure again
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