Models to addiction

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Biological model;

This model percieves additction as a physiologically controlled pattern of behaviour. Initiation of addiction occurs through genetic vulnerability, while maintenance of addiction occurs through activation of dopamine, which drugs such as cocaine affect directly. Relapse occurs through physiological cravings. Drugs affect the frequency of nerve impulses and block neurotransmitter receptor sites. They also attach to receptors, preventing neurotransmitters from recycling, so that they remain in the synapse and reattach to receptor sites.

  • Nielsen et al (2008) compared DNA from former herorin addicts and non-addicts, finding a relationship between addiction and certain gene variants. Some genes also act against becoming addicted, indicating a genetic basis to addiction.

Cognitive model;

Addiction is seen as due to distorted thinking relating to dysfunctional beliefs, like intellectual functioning being dependant on drug use. These maladaptive cognitive processes may relate to mood, causing addicts to believe that happiness is impossible without drugs. Dysfunctional beliefs are self-fufilling, leading to


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