The Pros And Cons Of The Brain-Disease Model Of Addiction

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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 …show more content…
The neurocentric view of addiction, or the view that addiction can be best explained by the brain activity (Satel & Lilienfeld, 2013, p. 57-8), is detrimental because it downplays the significance of other etiological factors that are important to effective treatment. As Satel and Lilienfeld (2013, p. 57-8) argue, treating the psychological and social factors associated with one’s addiction has been found to be an effective form of treatment, as demonstrated by programs like Alcoholics Anonynomous; however, in a neurocentric view, these factors would be ignored. Therefore, an increase in funding for neurocentric studies of addiction as a result of the brain-disease label could lead to increased funding for medical ‘cures’ for addiction, like Antabuse, which have proven to be less effective for treating addiction than psychological or behavioral treatments (Satel and Lilienfeld, 2013, 65-67). Therefore, the evidence suggests that a purely neurocentric model of addiction may not result in the same advancements in treatment efficacy as a more integrated model …show more content…
For instance, many paradigms in lie detection studies include memory confounds, which make it difficult to isolate the brain processes specific to deception. Farah et al. (2014, p. 125) cite a study by Gamer et al. as an example of this, in that Gamer et al. found showing participants pictures they had previously memorized resulted in activation in the same brain areas that are often implicated in studies of deception. Satel and Lilienfeld (2013, p. 79) cite an additional memory confound in that spontaneous lab lies have been found to activate different areas of the brain than rehearsed lab lies. This indicates that some of the activations found in deception studies may relate directly to memory, not deception per se. In the case of Dr. Smith then, it is possible that his lie detection results are invalid because he has rehearsed his story through various police and court retellings; whether he is telling the truth about prescribing Cure Infect or not, it is difficult to isolate potential deception markers from the demands that retrieval of his story makes on memory regions of the

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