What Biological, Psychological and Social Facts Underlie Addiction ?

Topics: Classical conditioning, Brain, Psychology Pages: 7 (2297 words) Published: March 13, 2013
What biological, psychological and social facts underlieAddiction ?

Clinical health psychology can be defined as the study of psychological and behavioral processes in health and illnesses. In other words health psychology is a branch of study that examines the interrelationship between biology, social factors and behaviour. A health psychologist is interested to know more about the person with the disease, to understand the educational or socioeconomic background, the behaviour that may influence the disease, like compliance for taking medication and the biological reason for the disease. Health psychology might be best explain with the concept of different addictions. The purpose of this essay is to determinate the biological, psychological and social factors that underline addiction and the interrelationship between the factors. Differences exist among cultural groups across time in their laws and attitudes to drinking and drug use, for example the Netherlands a country where the use of cannabis is not a criminal offence, in this case the consumption decreased since the 1970s, according to Nadelman, (1989). A country’s legal position in relation to substance use can influence the individual consumption , the restriction for example can increase the use of substance because is forbidden and for some persons the excitement and risk may attract them towards this activity.

“Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.” (National Institute on Drug Abuse , NIDA), more over there are three definitional categories for addiction: a disease, self-choice and self-medication. (Mind the brain[online]). However science suggests that alcoholism and addiction are anything but simple phenomenon, they appeal to be multifactorial in origin, stemming from pharmacological, biological, psychological and social factors. From biological point of view, the addiction is seen as disease which proves that the addict is victim of an illness. For example a heart disease, where there is no cure for aliment only control, there is no single pill or remedy for curing the illness, but rather a series of choices that can minimize the harm created by the disease, if there is a cure the individual must nonetheless continue to make significant life changes in order to prevent the disease form resurfacing. Furthermore the chemical abuse is not freely chosen, rather the excessive drinking or drugging seen to be beyond the control of the sufferer. When addiction is seen as a disease the logical conclusion is the need of help, compassion and treatment, in comparison with the addiction seen as a self-choice, where the individual should be punish for the harm that causes to the family and society, it is not just using substance or drinking that results in problems but the consequences of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Addiction is not an all-or-none phenomenon, and can be thought to exist along a spectrum of severity use continuing with misuse, harmful use/abuse and dependence. The cause when a person moves from one category to another is often not clear, and is not necessary to pass through all the stages before reaching dependence. The term, misuse in biology indicates that the substance is either not legal or used in a way that does not comply with medical recommendation. One of the curious observation associated with human misusing psychoactive drugs is the difference between persons when one can use a drug recreationally ,while the other one can become dependent on it. Clearly this suggest that there are factors which vary between people, as family history and influence how they react in contact with different substances. One of the most important fact can be the biology of individual , the abuse of drugs appear to act on different regions of the brain as well as on different neurotransmitters systems. Even though research has...
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