Addictions covers a range of maladaptive traits to include substance use, alcohol or behavior leading to significant impairments. There are various causes of addiction, but some theoretical frameworks indicates that addictions may have a genetic component that leads to a predisposition to develop addiction, a disease model of addiction or as the result of self-medicating of a primary disorder. This paper will take a theoretical view of the causes of addiction as well as developing a working definition of addiction.
Causes of Addiction There are numerous theories regarding addiction and the causes of addiction; however, for the purpose of this paper we will discuss three areas or models of
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Dr. Robert West (2013), has extensively researched the area of addiction and dependency and defines addition as “repeated powerful motivation to engage in a harmful but rewarding behavior and physical dependence as a state of adaptation to a drug that then need to be taken to prevent unwanted symptoms of withdrawal” (West & Brown, 2013, p.40). So according to Dr. West and Brown, there is a motivational factor in addiction. Dr. DiClemente (2003), Addiction and Change, surmise that addictions are learned habits that becomes difficult to extinguish even in the face of numerous negative consequences (DiClemente, 2003). Dr. Diclemente has a broad definition of addiction; however, seeing addiction as a purposeful learned habit contributes to the rationale of how addiction may begin. Carlson, Dale, and Carlson, Hannah (2013), Addiction : The Brain Disease. Madison, “Addiction is dependency on a substance or behavior, a drink or a drug, a person or possession you think you’ll die or go insane without” (Carlson, Dale, & Carlson, Hannah, 2013, p.3). Notwithstanding the different theories of addiction, this research paper will delve further into addiction causes below, but we will view addiction as a substance related and addictive disorder as stated in the fifth addition of the Diagnostics Statistical Manual of Mental disorders/DSM-V. Addiction is an equal opportunity disorder and can