Addiction Theories

Addiction Theories

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Addiction Theories

The theories of addiction fall into four categories which include biology, psychology, sociology and spirituality. These theories of addiction show us that, upon understanding all these theories of addiction, we better understand addiction under the basis of biology, psychology and sociology. What they have in common is that, they result to a successful treatment and prevention responses (“Drug Addiction”, 2017).

The following three models which are; moral model, disease model and psychological or character model will be discussed in alignment with the four areas which include biology, psychology, sociology and spiritual theories of addiction. Moral model is similar to the spiritual model. It views addiction as a sin and crime and explains that, addiction occurs as a result of weak character. If an individual lacks the moral strength, then it becomes difficult for them to overcome addiction. According to disease model, addiction due to alcoholism is as a result of medical disorder(“Drug Addiction”, 2017). This happens when an individual reaches to a certain point such that they can no longer control the cravings of a certain drug, say alcohol. The addiction from substance use affects both the brain and behavior of an individual. The psychological or character model concentrates on causes, triggers or happens in order for an individual to start substance use. It makes an emphasis that biology does not trigger an individual into taking the first step of using drugs and substances. For an individual to wake up and think of using drugs, there must be a psychological motivation. A personality trait is what causes individuals to be so much dependent on drugs.

The genetic theories which are the same as biological theories tend to explain that addiction is genetic such that it can be inherited from the parent by the offspring, for example in the case of alcoholism. Studies and research shows that the children with addicted relatives are three times likely to become alcoholics as compared to those whose relatives are non-alcoholic(“Learning Theory of Addiction and Recovery Implications: – Addictions”, 2017). All these theories share one thing in common. For an individual to be addicted, it must start in the brain and in the behavior too. Addiction is something that an individual can control from the start. One should not give a mere reason such as biology or genetics as a result of falling into it because all that can be controlled from the word go(“Learning Theory of Addiction and Recovery Implications: – Addictions”, 2017). Again, there is a distinction between these theories because every theory explains how addiction comes to be in its own way. The genetic point of view cannot be the same reason as to why addiction prevails as explained by psychology, sociology and religion. All the theories have different root causes of addiction depending on the environment that one is raised.

The advantages of moral or spiritual model is that, it helps addicts to try as much as possible to stop the addiction by their own since it is viewed as a sin or crime. The advantage of disease model is that, an individual is motivated to get cured of the disease which is addiction. They are forced to do all it takes in pursuit of refraining from addiction. Psychological model helps the individual to examine the root cause or the factors that led to drug abuse and later addiction. From there, the individual is usually in a position of re-examining himself or herself and come back to the right direction and in the process they end up fighting addiction.

The disadvantages of these models are almost similar. The first disadvantage is that, it becomes very distracting for the individuals with addiction. The second disadvantage is that, it can become very de-motivating and depressing for the individuals with addiction. These people spend most of their times thinking how they have a disease or weakness and how they can never get out of it. Some individuals are depressed for a long time due to addiction since they fight it on daily basis where by some become successful at the end of the day while most of them end up being unsuccessful.

The supporters of the disease theory argue that drugs affect mostly the brain part of the body and at the same time there might be pre-deposition of genetics and therefore addiction ends up not being a moral issue. Therefore the individuals with addiction are viewed not to be addicted due to drug usage. What this means is that, an individual just happens to lose voluntary control over drug usage(“Moving Beyond the Moral Model of Addiction”, 2017). They challenge the religious or moral model by arguing that, just because the addicts are sinful or irresponsible makes no sense at all. Therefore according to the disease model, addicts are supposed to be offered with proper medical or healthcare and not a jail sentence in the cell.

In the society, we have children, the youth and the aged. The only group that might find those ideas challenging are the youth. The idea that addiction is not a sin in religious theory makes more sense. The models give a room for the addicts not to me condemned or punished but be offered with the right health care.

Addiction refers to the repeated activity, use or involvement in a substance despite the fact that the substance causes a substantial harm to the individual involved, simply because when used, it brings about valuable or pleasurable moments (“Moving Beyond the Moral Model of Addiction”, 2017). It reaches a point whereby an individual cannot control the cravings or the urge to take a certain substance. That point is known as addiction. Amongst the commonly abused substances are alcohol, heroine and nicotine.


Drug Addiction. (2017). Retrieved 30 August 2017, from

Learning Theory of Addiction and Recovery Implications: – Addictions. (2017). Retrieved 30 August 2017, from

Moving Beyond the Moral Model of Addiction. (2017). Drug and Addiction Treatment Centers | Promises. Retrieved 30 August 2017, from

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