Humanistic Perspective and Addiction Essay

1420 Words Dec 2nd, 2012 6 Pages
Tia Gardner
September 21, 2012

Humanistic Perspective and Addiction

There are several theories of addiction. All of them are imperfect. All are partial explanations. It is for this reason that it is important to be aware of and question addiction theories.
One contemporary psychoanalytical view of substance abuse is that it is a defense against anxiety (Thombs D 2006). Addicts often abuse alcohol and other substances to guard against anxiety and other painful feelings like shame, guilt, loneliness and depression. Psychological problems including substance abuse disorders are viewed as a result of inhibited ability to make authentic, meaningful, and self directed choices about how to live.
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Is there some genetic difference that perhaps allows some to realize when an elevated blood alcohol level has been reached and transmits a message to the brain to stop drinking that others do not have? These questions have not been clearly answered and are under persistent investigation.

Among the numerous definitions for addiction, there lies yet another to define it from a biochemical perspective. Milkman (1983) defines it as “self-induced changes in neurotransmission that result in social problem behaviors." This definition encompasses the psychological, biochemical and social aspects of addictive processes. It is not limited to substance abuse and can be applied to any activity characterized by compulsion, loss of control and continuation of the substance despite harm. This has helped investigators gain a better understanding of the nature of addiction.

It has been shown that individuals turn to drugs that elicit a mood or level of arousal consistent with their mode of dealing with stress. Those who deal with stress by confrontation choose drug stimulants. Those who withdrawal from stress chooses opiate drugs. Others who deal with stress through activities related to imagery or fantasy turn to hallucinogens. These differences between behavior and drug preference are thought to be biochemically driven.

Although I primarily favor a synthesis
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