Discussion: Explaining Individual Nature of Addiction Through Theories

Do you ever wonder what causes addiction in some individuals and not others? Can some individuals stop using a substance or behaving in a certain way through force of will while others cannot? These are few of the many questions that theorists in the field of addiction attempt to answer.

Theories consist of ideas and explanations generated through research of the subject matter. No single addiction theory perfectly explains human behavior. Empirical evidence supports many different theories. Therefore, understanding a variety of theories is essential to create a proper set of tools to treat addiction.

Some theories of addiction focus on physical aspects. The belief is that addiction is a disease primarily involving brain circuitry that contributes to a person addictively seeking a substance or a behavior. Other theories focus more on environmental or social aspects. These particular theories focus more on factors such as self-efficacy, learned behavior, coping skills, personality, and social support. Perspectives on addiction may be called theories, models, or frameworks, and there is overlap in the definitions and usage of these terms.

In this Discussion, you apply addiction theory to answer a challenging question.

To prepare for this Discussion:

Review Learning the Language of Addiction Counseling, Chapter 2, “Theories of Counseling Related to Addiction Treatment” (pp. 19–35).
Review Learning the Language of Addiction Counseling, Chapter 9, “Current and Evolving Therapy Approaches and Techniques” (pp. 243–267).
Review “A Study of Internet Addiction Through the Lens of the Interpersonal Theory.”
By Day 4

Post your response to the following question:

Why do some individuals develop addictions while others do not? Provide three answers, each based on a different theory of addiction. Be sure to reference factors that contribute to addictions. Which theory resonates the most for you and why?

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