Addiction: Nature Vs. Nurture In Clinical Psychology

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I am greatly interested in the study of psychology due to the fact I want to be a clinical psychologist, counseling psychologist, or a substance abuse and addiction counselor. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.” According to US News Article “A Blind Eye to Addiction” it states that “Over 38,000 people died of drug overdoses in the U.S in 2010.” Discovering the genetic and environmental causes for addition can potentially prevent drug overdoses. The research on nature and nurture can benefit treatment programs in addiction by allowing doctors and medical officials to look at both …show more content…
Nurture. Simply Psychology says, “This debate within psychology is concerned with the extent to which particular aspects of behavior are a product of either inherited (i.e. genetic) or acquired (i.e. learned) characteristics.” In Alcohol Rehab’s article “Genetics and Environment in Addiction” it is said that “While genetic influences are generally significant factors in addiction, they play a larger role in addiction to some substances or behaviors. Genetic influences appear to account for about half the risk of becoming an alcoholic, though the genetic link seems to be stronger between fathers and sons.” According to the Promise Treatment Center "It is known that a child of an addict is more likely to become an addict." No one knows why but most suspect it is either genetics or environment factors. I believe that it is both genetic and environmental factors because "If addiction is caused solely by genetics, the implication is that all children of drug addicts will become addicts themselves, which is not the case. Addicted parents with more than one child frequently find that while one child may show addictive tendencies, another will not. While one child may become an addict, the other goes on to have a responsible job and a normal life. These siblings shared both genetics and environment, but not the fate of active addiction (Promises Treatment Center …show more content…
According to the University of Utah Health and Sciences, “Mice lacking the serotonin receptor gene Htr1b are more attracted to cocaine and alcohol.” The University of Utah Health and Sciences also reported that “Mice mutated with a defective Per2 gene drink three times more alcohol than normal.” (University of Utah Health and Sciences) These are some of examples of how looking at genetics can affect addiction treatment. If researchers are able to find medication that combats the side effects of the genes, it could potentially be possible to curb some attributions of addiction.
Next, the environmental factors of one suffering with addiction can easily contribute to how severe the person’s case is. For example, if the patient is living in an abandoned house where drugs are constantly coming in and out, it will be almost impossible for an addict to withhold from using. Taking the patient from these types of environments is beneficial. A common form of treatment with addiction is moving the patient into a treatment facility that is a controlled setting. The patient can then be medicated or put through counseling

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