How Addiction Effects the Psychological and Physical Functioning of Daily Life

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Darlene Sledge
Fundamentals Of
Research Writing
January 23, 2008

I. Introduction

This qualitative research will investigate how addiction effects the psychological and physical functioning of daily life. Psychological functioning is the cognitive and behavioral characteristics of an individual and how they work. This research relates to counseling. The field of counseling looks at methods that will engage an individual with personal issues and how they cope on daily basis. I have several reasons why this topic is of interest to me. I am a Certified Alcohol/Drug Counselor, currently employed as a supervisor at a Women’s Residential Misa Facility. I have been in this field for 10 years and I remain baffled by the dynamics of addictions. My primary interest in this topic is in hopes of obtaining additional information that will assist me and others in this field because, the framework that takes into consideration the thinking, feeling, and behaving dimensions of individuals which are very important to the quality of life. Counseling is used to assist with guidance and direction of an individual during the healing process. Secondly, I want to further enhance my knowledge of addiction in order to provide the quality of care that is needed. With this knowledge I will be able to continue training and educating others as well as assist individuals through their healing process. And lastly, due to the increasing numbers of individuals who is currently coming in with this diagnosis, I find it necessary for professional in this field to know and understand addiction as much as possible.

II. Research Question
What are the causes and effects of addiction in an individual’s daily life? Understanding how addiction effects the physical and psychological functioning of daily life is a phenomenon that continues to be researched and studied but further studies are needed in order to understand its onset and the impact it has on an individual’s life.

Before I embark upon this mission, allow me to define addiction as it is known and explore the various types of addiction.

Addiction is a term used to describe a devotion, attachment, dedication, inclination, etc. Nowadays, however, the term addiction is used to describe a recurring compulsion by an individual to engage in some specific activity, despite harmful consequences to the individual’s health, mental state or social life. The term is often reserved for drug addictions but it is sometimes applied to other compulsions, such as problems gambling, and compulsive overeating. Factors that have been suggested as causes of addiction include genetic, biological/pharmacological and social factors. Decades ago addiction was a pharmacological term that clearly referred to the use of a tolerance-inducing drug in sufficient quantity as to cause tolerance (the requirements that greater dosages of a given drug be used to produce an identical effect as times passes). With that definition, human (and indeed all mammals) can become addicted to various drugs quickly. Almost at the same time, a lay definition of addiction developed. This definition referred to individuals who continued to use a given drug despite their own best interest. This latter definition is now thought of as a disease by the medical community.

Physical dependence, abuse of, and withdrawal from drugs and other miscellaneous substances is outlined in the Diagnostic and statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV TR). Terminology has become quite complicated in the field. To wit, pharmacologists continue to speak of addiction from a physiologic standpoint (some call this a physical dependence); psychiatrists refer to the disease state as dependence; most other physicians refer to the disease as addiction. The field of psychiatry is now considering, as they move from DSM-IV to DSM-V, transitioning from “dependence” to “addiction” as terminology for the disease state. (Wikipedia, the free...
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