The Brain Disease Model Of Addiction Essay

1802 Words Dec 9th, 2016 8 Pages
Following the introduction of the brain-disease model of addiction, proponents and opponents have emerged to argue for or against a neurocentric view of addiction and the importance of brain circuitry in treating addiction. The following discussion will discuss the societal pros and cons of labeling addiction a brain disease and evaluate whether brain circuitry is necessary for the treatment of addiction in order to illuminate the benefits and drawbacks of the brain-disease model for individuals, like Dr. Smith. Labeling addiction as a brain disease can be beneficial in the contexts of political expediency and the de-stigmatization of addicts. As discussed by Satel and Lilienfeld (2013, p. 56-7), the brain-disease model has been politically expedient in that it has motivated Congress to act in favor of increasing the budget for addiction research and has elevated the field of addiction within scientific discourse. These effects are beneficial as they can lead to a better understanding of addiction and, ultimately, more effective treatments. An additional benefit of labeling addiction as a brain disease is that it helps destigmatize addicts, which increases access to treatment by lowering the negative connotations of being diagnosed with an addiction (Satel and Lilienfeld, 2013, p. 57-8). This effect was demonstrated previously in the shift in public attitude towards schizophrenia. Satel and Lilienfeld (2013, p. 57-8) explain that prior to the widespread dissemination of…

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