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Models of Addiction Part 2: Psychodynamic, Social Learning, and Biopsychosocial

This is a helpful tool that motivates medical professionals to continue developing their treatment methods and motivates patients to ask for help. At New Life House, we provide access to structured sober living homes in Redondo Beach and the Los Angeles area for young men struggling with addiction. Our homes provide a stable, supportive, and caring environment where young men continue to work on their recovery using the biopsychosocial model of addiction. Another component that can influence whether someone develops an addiction is related to social and environmental factors. For instance, if you are physically, emotionally, or verbally abused by your parents or siblings from an early age, turning to substance use is often a common coping mechanism. It is the integration of biological data and psycho-social, narrative, family information, and clinical phenomenology that will make way for more precise forecasting and earlier diagnosis than is possible today.

the biopsychosocial model of addiction

However, simply treating the psychological and physical components of addiction is not sufficient, as you must treat the entire body, mind, and soul. Therefore, the biopsychosocial model of addiction can ensure that all aspects, components, and factors of addiction are correctly treated. It also takes into consideration aspects of health functioning such as addictive behaviour, diet, exercise, self-care, nutrition, sleep and genetics.

Psycho-Social Systems

Many young men have recovered from their substance use disorders while facing challenges and obstacles along the way. Fortunately, there are different treatment tools and methods available to help along the way, such as sober living homes, Alcoholics Anonymous, and a therapeutic approach called the biopsychosocial model of addiction. As you have come to understand, to look at substance use disorders in a binary fashion, choosing one lens or another is not effective.

  • One claim is based on the fact that decisional autonomy, or rationality, is not the most valuable human characteristic, and the individual-as-independent does not adequately characterize human beings (Russell 2009).
  • Similarly, psychosocial stressors such as aversion, isolation, and other emotional setbacks are also heavily apparent in addiction and other mood disorders [8, 10].
  • Factors such as drug availability within the environment can increase craving and consequently the vulnerability for relapse (Weiss 2005).
  • The mere fact that there are so many potential explanations for how addiction does (and does not) develop should tell you that addiction and recovery are intensely personal processes for the individual struggling with it.

However, before a psychiatric diagnosis is reached, any general medical condition that may account for the child’s problems are ruled out. In addition, it is critical that deviation from the normal range of development is considered. Further, a child may have symptoms of multiple conditions and all relevant diagnoses need to be considered (e.g, ADHD and learning disorders). For what it’s worth, the biopsychosocial model is my preferred theoretical framework to approach the issue of addiction from. It incorporates elements from many different models of addiction to take a more holistic view of substance use and addiction. While this model does emphasize some universal aspects of addiction—such as the reward system of the brain being activated by substances—it also acknowledges the many idiosyncrasies and intricacies of addiction.

The Psychodynamic Model of Addiction

In addition to behavioral medicine, the model is used in fields such as medicine, nursing, health psychology and sociology, and particularly in more specialist fields such as psychiatry, family therapy, clinical social work, and clinical psychology. DBT operates a much broader biopsychosocial model that is most often applied to parasuicidal behavior and borderline personality disorder (BPD; Linehan, 1993). Specifically, the core psychological problems targeted by the therapy are emotional dysregulation and invalidation of one’s sense of self (Linehan, 2001). The treatment model’s primary focus concerns the dialectic between acceptance and behavior change across four main therapeutic stages. Stage 1 seeks to reduce life-threatening behavior and increase mindfulness, interpersonal skills, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and self-management.

Gillett criticizes theories of decision-making that conceptualize choice as autonomous phenomenon only if inner mental states or networks cause it. Multiple methods of measurement of alcohol and other drug consumption increase confidence in data accuracy. Our role as counselors is to meet the individual where they are, treat them as unique individuals with unique goals, listen to them and their goals, and help them achieve those goals by eliciting the motivation to change that already lies within them. It refers to the process of observing and imitating others, thereby resulting in the acquisition of new behaviors. Primary features of the model are shown in boldface; variables exemplifying heroin-assisted treatment are shown in italics. This paper builds on the conceptual foundations of Hyman’s (2007) contribution on addiction and voluntary control, and extends the thinking to include perspectives that include, but also go beyond, neuroscience.

Similar to Introduction to the BioPsychoSocial approach to Addiction(

If you’re not a fan of medications, some symptoms can be treated through holistic approaches like meditation, which are scientifically proven to change how the brain functions. Different tools provided by programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have helped many people. Therapy also helps with people assisting people to get to the root causes of their addiction and learn new coping skills for managing their mental health. By having a better understanding of the psychology and psychotherapy behind addiction recovery, you’ll have the more knowledge be hind why it works and how.

the biopsychosocial model of addiction

Solution-focused brief psychotherapy (SFBP) applies a postmodern constructivist approach to counseling, meaning that an individual’s experience of their substance use acts as the “objective truth” [121]. In this way, the therapist will collaborate with the client in order to develop a working, clinical understanding of the client’s problem situation in terms of experience, perception, and meaning related to ambiguous stimuli and events [122]. Like CBT and MBSR, SFBP hinges on the development of a personalized construction of the problem behaviors or experiences and reframing of meaning that perpetuates maladaptive cycles of thought and behavior. Some researchers believe that it is not the specific interventions, but the demeanor and actions of the therapist that promote the therapeutic effects of solution-focused therapy.

The Meaning of “Social”

The known effectiveness of opioids for managing acute pain combined with the limited therapeutic alternatives for chronic pain, have led to an overreliance on opioids for long-term pain management and the current opioid crisis in the United States [2]. In this chapter, the authors have discussed conceptualizing chronic pain and SUD using a similar biopsychosocial framework and suggest that both can be more effectively managed by including clinical mental health therapeutic techniques as opposed to a purely biomedical approach. While psychotherapy has long been used in treating SUD, applying these techniques to chronic pain is fairly novel. Evidence of the effectiveness of these nonpharmacological treatments for chronic pain, particularly for long-term management, is still sparse [157]. However, the techniques highlighted in this review, CBT, MBSR, SFBP, and MI are promising in managing mental illnesses that are frequently comorbid with chronic pain, suggesting further research into their efficacy for chronic pain is warranted.

  • She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs.
  • As in addiction treatment, a non-judgmental stance is vitally important to MBSR-based treatment of chronic pain.
  • So, various forms of psychotherapy are necessary to help learn how to identify negative thinking patterns related to addiction and replace them with new healthy thought patterns.
  • The model, therefore, allows for diverse and multidimensional aspects of knowledge to be drawn upon depending on the concern to be addressed, and the tools available to address them (Cochrane 2007).

This patient-therapist collaboration shakes sedentary perspectives and faulty core beliefs surrounding their ailment and allows the patient to reframe their thoughts and learn from new experiences. Robert K. Merton observed that, “In the modern world, the visibly practical accomplishments of a science largely affect the social value placed upon it” (Merton 1961, 697). Media headlines such as “Brain’s Addiction Centre Found” (BBC 2007) speak to the power of neuroscience and its ability to construct images of the brain, such that it has become easy to defer to its account of the complex phenomena that constitute addiction. Neuroethics challenges arise when knowledge exclusively from neuroscience is deemed adequate to obtain a full understanding of a mental health disorder as complex as addiction.

It may have been lost, not yet experienced, which leaves a person feeling like there are missing pieces. Sometimes it is by choice, or experience, a negative representation of what they believed culture meant. It is important to be aware of the importance of understanding the client’s cultural belief system as they feel it is, through their sober house eyes. Giordano, A. L., Prosek, E. A., Stamman, J., Callahan, M. M., Loseu, S., Bevly, C. M., Cross, K., Woehler, E. S., Calzada, R.-M. R., & Chadwell, K. We are a community of more than 103,000 authors and editors from 3,291 institutions spanning 160 countries, including Nobel Prize winners and some of the world’s most-cited researchers.

the biopsychosocial model of addiction

Indeed, in the original Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study, Felitti et al. (1998) found that more ACEs increased the odds of subsequent drug and alcohol use. One explanation for this trend is that the toxic stress from trauma leads to a dysregulated stress response. An individual’s stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) are chronically elevated (Burke Harris, 2018; van der Kolk, 2014). Additionally, many neurotransmitters are involved in the experience of reward (dopamine, opioids, GABA, serotonin, endocannabinoids, and glutamate; Blum et al., 2020). Thus deficiencies in any combination of these neurochemicals may contribute to a predisposition to addiction.