Drug Addiction: Reasons, Theories and Treatment

Why People Abuse Drugs or Alcohol?

Drug and alcohol abuses are common problems in society that require an urgent solution. There are many reasons associated with these burning issues which may be different for every addict. The first reason why people abuse drugs and alcohol may be influenced by their genes as it is said that these diseases have a genetic component. Some individuals who are addicted to drugs and alcohol have family histories of drug and alcohol abuse; hence they themselves end up in becoming an alcoholic or a drug user. Such individuals do not exactly know why they abuse drugs and alcohol, they simply subconsciously cannot stop using narcotic means, and psychotropic substances as they follow the example of their family members and turn their abuse into a habit (Milhon, 2003).

Stress is the second reason why people take alcoholic drinks as well as drugs. There are many factors that cause people to suffer from stress. They include pressure at work, relationship problems, and loss of jobs, among many other reasons. The capacity to deal with stress varies from one individual to another. Some individuals manage their stress well, while others fail to control themselves. When they become stressed, they find solace in drugs and excessive use of alcohol, hoping to solve their problems in such a way or at least trying to forget about them.

The third reason why some abuse drugs and alcohol is the negative influence of other persons that surround them. This happens mostly to young people who try to join the company of their peers and share the same interests with its members. Some of them become drug addicts being aware of the consequences of drug abuse. However, due to the fear of being excluded by their peers, they adopt their habits which include drug and alcohol abuse. They start using drugs gradually, but eventually, they become fully depended on drugs (Schuckit, 2009).

The Disease Model of Addiction

According to this model, addiction is a chronic medical condition that requires treatment, just like other diseases. Addiction is perceived as a medical condition that alters the normal functioning of addicts and affects their behaviour. The model points out that an addict lacks the ability to control his/her alcohol and drug usage but instead develops a craving for constant drug and alcohol use.

Individuals who suffer from addiction often lose control of themselves. They start what they consider short drinking sprees, but once they take the first drink, it becomes difficult for them to stop. Their attempts to give up the habit often fail because they begin drinking and abusing drugs anyway after some period. Craving is critical in the growth of the disease model since it functions as a constant and compelling urge. It is perceived as a feeling that forces individuals to employ all means to get the desired object or substance regardless of the harm associated with its use.

The disease model argues that craving and damaged control are irreversible and that there is no medical remedy for drug or alcohol misuse. The conditions can only be solved through constant self-control and suppressing the craving. Addicts or alcoholics are advised to keep away not only from the use of the drug and alcoholic means that alter their minds but also from temptation. Drug and alcohol addictions are associated with many other complications, in addition to physical effects. Unless the individuals receive treatment, their conditions deteriorate until they can no longer function.

Some individuals acknowledge that addiction and alcoholism are ailments that can assist them in understanding their situations and guiding them on how to recover. They are aware that their conditions can be analyzed through models similar to the ones used to treat diabetes. This enables them to join programs where they can get help.

Personality Traits and Theory of Addiction

When individuals are required to describe themselves, they do it in order to present the traits of their personality. For instance, they may be social or reserved. Researchers who carry out studies on individual differences in terms of personality usually give descriptions of the features that differentiate some people from others. Although there are various models of personality traits, they are different with regard to their identifiable quantity.

On the basis of personality traits, the concept of addiction is explained through several theories. The first addiction theory is a genetic one which argues that the development of alcoholism and drug misuse is influenced by genetic factors. The theory presents a difference between genetic factors and environmental ones with regard to addictive behaviour. Studies conducted to prove the validity of this theory indicate that children of alcoholic parents have higher chances of becoming alcoholics as well. The second addiction theory includes the exposure model.

This theory argues that when addictive substances are introduced into the body system, addiction is definitely to occur. This implies that individuals who take alcohol drinks or drugs regularly must become addicted. The third theory of addiction involves the conditioning model. This theory insists that addiction occurs when drug administration is reinforced successively. The abused substances function as strong reinforcers and control the person’s behaviour. Conditioning theory argues that with the right reinforcement, anybody can be driven into addiction (Theories of Addiction, 2012).

Treatment of Addiction

Drug addiction is a serious problem that affects almost all the aspects of the life of an addict ranging from school, family, work and community. Due to the complexity of the condition, its treatment involves a number of components. Some of them directly address drug use by the individual, while the rest aim at ensuring that the addict restores his/her normal functions in the society and family.

Drug addiction treatment is offered in different places where pharmacological and behavioural methods are used to help those who suffer from this condition. In most countries, there are specialized facilities where addiction is treated through medication, counselling, case management and other services offered to drug addicts. Together with the specialized facilities, treatment for addiction is offered in mental health clinics and offices of physicians. Different providers, including psychiatrists, counsellors, social workers and nurses, offer treatment in such facilities. Despite the fact that specific treatment strategies take place in specific treatment settings, various therapeutic services or approaches fit in virtually all settings (How to Treat Addiction, 2012).

Since drug addiction is a critical problem in the health sector, its treatment that involves drugs receives funding from all levels of the government, including state, as well as local and federal governments. Private and health plans, such as employer subsidies, also cover addiction treatment and the medical impacts associated with it.

Since some firms of addiction are genetic, information about the family history regarding the usage of drugs and alcohol is used while planning therapy for a person. Addiction treatment calls for control, positive motivation and support in trying to manage this condition, that is why problems in families can also hinder the patient’s recovery. Those who come from families that have addiction history may be surrounded by the people who exercise the negative behaviour repeatedly. This gradually makes persons who decide to give up drinking and using drugs become of the habit of abusing drugs and alcohol again and again (Drug Addiction Treatment in the United States n.d).


Drug Addiction Treatment in the United States. (n.d). Web.

How to Treat Addiction. (2012). Web.

Milhon, T. (2003). Drug and Alcohol Abuse: The Authoritative Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Counselors. New York: Da Capo Press.

Schuckit, M. (2009). Drug and Alcohol Abuse: A Clinical Guide to Diagnosis and Treatment. New York: Birkhäuser.

Theories of Addiction. (2012). Web.

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