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Class 4 Theories of Alcohol Use and Other Drugs.docx

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PSY 215
Amelia Usher

Class 4 Feb 3/ 2014 Theories of Alcohol and Other Drug Use What makes a good Theory? A theory should have: - needs to explain a set of phenomenon; shouldn’t just describe a phenomenon but also explain why those observations that you see occur - cohesive and coherent; if you have a principle where theory and application is opposing it is not a good theory - comprehensible; making it easy to understand if complex - explicit; need to be defined so you understand what the defines mean and need to be measurable for testing - empirically testable; needs to be proven or falsified Unemployment might be a driver for drug abuse because it fills a void of the depression with not having a job. Drugs can also be more available in an area, which can increase drug use amongst normal people with a little bit more money to use. If someone has a lot of stress in their lives and are overworked feeling overwhelmed can cause people to use drug use as a coping method to relax the person and have control over something when they don’t have control over anything else in life. Gateway Theory • Once you start a softer drug, its an automatic progression to a harder drug • Once you trigger reward center in your brain (one stimulation of dopamine in brain through some drug) your brain wants more and its stimulates the desire that you didn’t know you had for that drug • Tolerance will be developed in the body and once you have one injection of a specific drug you will want more and move onto harder drugs to get that effect • People who introduce you to the drug you are associating yourself with the transition from soft to hard drug - Common in the 1950’s where it was very popular during that time. Believed that once you start one drug it will automatically lead to other hard-core drugs and there was the element that your social circle and peer pressure will lead you to start being addicted to substances. Disease Models of Addictions - Born out of reactionary of addiction being seen as immoral behaviour and bad character and disease model was responding to that by saying that it has a biological factor and in 1957, alcoholism was seen as a disease due to : • known cause • symptoms get worse over time • known outcomes 1. Craving 2. Symptoms and Withdrawal; physiological and physical effects on the body and there is a biological response to drugs 3. Brain response: neurotransmitters that are drugs respond in our brains Genetic Evidence for Disease Model 1. Family Studies: addiction is commonly run in the family and this is because • Heritability and more closely related individuals within the family will have a higher concordance of addiction being transmitted. Men tend to have higher rates of alcoholism than women and the sons of parents of alcoholics have a 25% of being alcoholics and less for females as well as between siblings. • Genetic factors that are being passed on with combination with environmental factors 2. Adoption studies: higher rates of alcoholism in adption where they are adopted into a nonsubtance abuse
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