Is addiction biologically based? How does dopamine affect learning? What about psychological influences, including personality and effects of trauma? Don’t people “use” to cope with unacceptable feelings or memories? Don’t peers and family influence behavior? Don’t people develop patterns within family social and cultural systems? What about how we learn? If you expect to get certain experiences aren’t we more likely to get them?
For this assignment, I would like you to read about addiction theories in the AMHC website to read more on theories of addiction (from Hester and Miller’s out-of-print 2003 book). Notice that the theories generally fall into 4 areas: biology (biomedical, disease concept) psychology (social learning, coping through self-medication, developmental, personality), sociology (general systems, socio-cultural, family systems) and spirituality (moral/spiritual aspects of addiction). Think about what they have in common as well as how they are different.
Choose 3 models to discuss from 3 of the 4 areas listed above. (Do not select models from the same area). Compare the theories. What do some have in common? Also, contrast them. How are some very different from others – even to the point of being “mutually exclusive”? (impossible for both theories to be accurate at the same time) (5%) What are the advantages of each model for explaining addiction? What strengths and weaknesses do you see in the theory’s ability to explain the addictive process? Describe at least 2 strengths and 2 weaknesses for each model. (70%) How might the ideas in the model make sense to a particular group of people with addiction? (Describe the groups that the theory might appeal to). How could those ideas possibly make it more difficult for some addicts to understand and accept being addicted? Describe the groups that might find those ideas challenging. (5%) What ideas in which theories make most sense to you? Write a final paragraph defining addiction as you see it, based on ideas from your reading and your life. How has this project helped you expand your personal definition of addiction? (10%) Write approximately a 2 page paper (1” margins, no more than 1 ½ line spacing, 12-point font). (10%) Submit the first draft by the first due date. After receiving feedback (for corrections) from the professor, you will re-submit the paper by the 2nd due date on the assignment sheet.