Opponent process theory and addiction: All you need to know

Echoing psychodynamic object relations theories, secure attachment bonds have been suggested to protect an individual from developing an addiction . For instance, sensitive parenting has been found to promote the development of the executive functioning skills and self-regulation (Berner et al., 2010).

  • Other research has indicated that repeated exposure to drugs and other addictive substances can permanently change the molecular and neurochemical structure and functioning of the brain.
  • Psychotherapy would try to identify and resolve underlying psychological disorders.
  • As we describe above, viewing addictive disorders from an attachment perspective may help promote an improved understanding of these conditions that often carry negative individual and familial impacts.
  • More precisely, upon taking a drug or substance, the activation of the brain’s nucleus accumbens ensues.
  • People in the precontemplation stage typically do not consider their behavior to be a problem.
  • Neuroscientific theories explain addiction as a series of between- and within-system neuroadaptations that lead to an increasingly dysregulating cycle, affecting reward, motivation, and executive control systems.

With time, however, the drug will lose its effect and require the person to use more of the drug to achieve the pleasurable sensations. People do not choose how their brain and body respond to substances, which is why people with addiction cannot control their use while others can. People with addiction can still stop using substances — it’s just much harder than it is for someone who has not become addicted. People with addiction should not be blamed for having a disease, but rather be able to get quality, evidence-based care to address it.

Behavioral Approaches

Psychotherapy would try to identify and resolve underlying psychological disorders. This might include restructuring the personality and/or improving a person’s cognitive and emotional functioning.

  • Rash Impulsiveness – reflecting individual differences in the ability to modify the addictive behaviour due to negative consequences.
  • In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues.
  • When someone first starts to use a drug, there is a high level of enjoyment and low withdrawal.
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  • The core assumption of the temperance movement was that the addictive and destructive power of the drug is strong and that it is the drug itself that is the problem.
  • As a person attempts to achieve the drug-produced feelings again, they get into the vicious cycle that leads to psychological addiction.

In treatment of a person with an addiction, it is important to locate the more direct actions that could have been taken. Along with this, it is important to explore why those direct actions felt impossible at the time. •We propose to combine social and psychological models to bring the field forward. •Psychological and social computational models are both very promising in studying addiction, but also currently disjoint.

Neurobiology of addiction

But Sally Satel, a psychiatry lecturer at Yale University, argues that even though drug addiction is an “intense biological process,” it is not a disease of the brain. She is one of many who warn that as tempting as it may be to consider addiction as purely a disease, doing so runs the risk of forcing addiction into a category that it does not belong to.

The maintenance stage is most challenging after a period of time has elapsed and the focus on reaching the goal has lost its intensity. People can become complacent at this point, and they may begin to think that a small lapse will make no real difference. John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health . Our website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. People with stressful jobs, such as emergency room doctors, may feel less stress from their work with time, and instead be motivated by stressful situations. Another report from Frontiers in Psychology examined Solomon’s theory, by placing dogs into harnesses that administered 10-second shock treatments.

Module 9: Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders

Rehabilitation is defined as a set of interventions necessary when a person is experiencing limitations in everyday functioning, in this case when someone struggles with addiction. In rehab centers, persons with addiction receive both treatment and support, especially with psychological dependence withdrawal symptoms. The actual treatment course may depend on the type of addiction or the addictive agent. Not every person who experiences pleasure or satisfaction will become addicted to something, which is why the causes of psychological addiction mentioned above explain why someone is more likely to have this problem. The psychology of addictive behaviors is a complex field and shows the true severity of these problems. The psychological addiction process starts when the addictive agent activates the pleasure center in the brain. As a result, the person wants to recreate the same pleasurable feelings by using the specific substance again.


Co-morbid post-http://udaff.com/read/interv/28858.htmltic stress disorder in a substance misusing clinical population. Treating underlying mental health conditions which predispose an individual toward substance misuse. The action stage is the focus for many people attempting to overcome addiction. There may be many other preparations that need to be made in your specific circumstance, such as finding a clean, safe place to start your new life. If you need help from a counselor or social worker, this is the time to get it.

Physical and psychological dependence

One-third of inpatient hospital costs and 20% of all deaths in the United States every year are the http://lumfa.ru/glavnaya/tovari-gigieni/uchod-za-volosami/high-hair-pena-sf-ukrepl-strukturu-volos.html of untreated addictions and risky substance use. In spite of the massive overall economic cost to society, which is greater than the cost of diabetes and all forms of cancer combined, most doctors in the United States lack the training to effectively address drug addiction. As mentioned above, the self-medication hypothesis argues that specific psychiatric withdrawal symptoms, which increase during abstinence, may be the main driver of persistent drug use because of negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement theories, by contrast, argue that the excessively rewarding effects of drugs drive persistent drug use independently of the withdrawal syndrome. The challenge for positive reinforcement theories is to explain why drug use persists when addicts claim the drug has lost its value. Taken together, while multiple theories of addiction exist, many are not mutually exclusive.

This factor is as broad as it sounds and includes personality traits (like sensation-seeking and impulsivity), mental health concerns , psychological constructs (like self-esteem and self-worth), and the psychological impact of an individual’s life experiences . Some individuals may be more affected by the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse because they are trying their best to regulate painful emotions. While Khantzian takes a psychodynamic approach to self-medication, David Duncan proposed a self-medication model that focuses on behavioral factors. Duncan applied a public health model to drug dependence, where the agent infects the host through a vector (e.g., peers), while the environment supports the disease process through stressors and lack of support. A crucial determinant of whether a drug user develops drug abuse is the presence or absence of negative reinforcement, which is experienced by problematic users, but not by recreational users.