Theories of the Etiology of Addiction Essay

2149 Words May 28th, 2012 9 Pages
Certain models and theories regarding addiction have a tremendously valuable impact con society’s reaction toward addiction. There are certain aspects of each theory which are very important in the treatment of addiction. Not all addicts and alcoholics fit into the specific criteria of one theory or model so it is beneficial for Chemical Dependency Counselors to have an in depth understanding of various theories to draw from. Most theories about addiction fail to provide a comprehensive account of chemical abuse, dependence or addiction. There is truth and speculation to every theory. It is important for Chemical Dependency Counselors to continue to research and critique theories because it initiates the creation of new theories. For the …show more content…
36). It has been established that addiction is related to several genes and that no one gene is considered a genetic marker for identifying those whom are at risk for developing alcoholism. E.M. Jellinek has been called the father of alcohol studies because his work has played a primary role in the shift from alcoholism as viewed as a defect, to alcoholism as understood, recognized, and treated in the illness and disease model. The disease model suggests that addiction is an illness. It proposes that addiction and alcoholism are a result of the impairment of healthy neurochemical or behavioral processes. The disease model is widely leveraged in therapeutic settings and it actually forms the basis for Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Nar-Anon.
As alcohol dependence and addiction has been categorized as a disease, it has opened up numerous possibilities for treatment which were formerly nonexistent. Jellinek was a trained biostatistician who effectively established a definite patter to the appearance of the symptoms of alcoholism. He also explained that there was progression of the disease in terms of increasing dysfunction. He further identified the symptoms and signs of alcoholism (which tend to cluster together), which is also applied to addiction. “Jellinek developed the idea of the four phases of alcohol addiction:
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