Summary of the psychology of addictions (2023)

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A person with addiction abuses substances or exhibits maladaptiveness in which the "rewarding" effects produce feelings of repetition, although this can have dire consequences, as noted in an article on addiction by the authors of Psychology Today. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the specialty of Addiction Psychology falls under Division 50, also known as the Society of Addiction Psychology (SoAP). In the article "Understanding the Debate Between Dependence and Addiction", Dr. Jeffrey Juergens states that "the DSM-IV used to define abuse and addiction as two separate diagnoses"; although they are synonyms. Jürgen continues: "The current DSM no longer makes this distinction." Furthermore, he states, "Some communities use the words interchangeably, while some communities prefer the terms substance use disorder or drug addiction" (Jürgen). As such, the field of addiction psychology is labeled variously by different communities, although the most common synonym is substance use disorder.

The first diagnosis of substance abuse/dependence printed in the medical literature occurred in the early 19th century. In a podcast shown on NPR's addiction website, hosted by Ira Flatow, she discusses how medical historian Howard Merkel explains the story of how "Freud and Halstead fell under the spell of cocaine addiction" (Flatow).

Sigmund FreudeWilhelm Halstedwere the first scientists to start experimenting with cocaine users and use. Freud and Halsted were initially unaware of the effects of cocaine on the human brain and the addictive nature of the drug. Over time, they became addicted themselves and became their own subjects for addiction and substance abuse studies. Based on this, it can be assumed that the field of addiction psychology has existed “since the 1880s” (Flatow); It was around this time that Freud and Halsted became addicted. Overall, the early discoveries, while meaningless, went a long way toward laying the foundations of the psychology of addiction. (McCartney, 2012).

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The psychology of addiction is a broad field that can cover various addictions such as gambling, eating disorders, sexual addiction, substance abuse and others. According to the Addiction Psychology Organization, the first studies in this area began in the early 19th century. It was initially called the Society of Psychologists in Substance Abuse. This name has changed to addiction psychology as the field has expanded and more subdivisions have been added (American Psychological Association, 2020).

Addiction is not only a national problem, but an international one as well. According to the Alberta Gambling Research Institute, an estimated 4.9% of adults worldwide (240 million people) suffer from alcohol use disorders and 22.5% of adults worldwide (1 billion people) smoke tobacco products. Smoking and alcohol consumption are the most common addictive behaviors and cause many individual problems (Gowing, 2015).

As she said, tobacco is responsible for 11% of male deaths and 6% of female deaths each year.” According to Gans (2016), the United States has the highest rate of illicit drug use of any Western country. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that our rate of illicit drug use is nearly four times that of second-place New Zealand. Fake drug policies such as coercion, exclusion and punishment of people with addiction are some of the reasons why we have high levels of illicit drug use (Gans, 2016). Instead of solving the problem with effective methods like therapy, we try to ignore it.

Addiction is steadily increasing all over the world; Various organizations, such as the WHO, make some of these statistics available to the public. The WHO reports that “in 15% of the 152 responding countries, 1/3 of primary health care units carry out screening and brief interventions for hazardous and harmful alcohol use” (WHO, 2020). This suggests that we are not as well equipped around the world to provide professional care for people with addictions. According to Aanya Rose's article, "Job Description for an Addiction Psychologist," "These psychologists are also commonly known as substance abuse or behavioral disorder psychologists."

Aanya also explains that it is the duty of these psychologists to perform many functions such as: B. assessing the physical well-being and mental health of their clients, analyzing behavioral problems and developing bespoke treatment plans for the individual. Aanya continues, “Clients can work with these psychologists to develop the skills they need to overcome their addictive behaviors” (Aanya).

(Video) Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong | Johann Hari

Most aim to help their clients by acknowledging their problem, building trust and a relationship, working together as a whole to find the treatment that works best for the addict, and educating affected family members. According to Bobek and Hugue in their article "What is family therapy for addiction and how can it help my family?", they mention that the psychology of addiction focuses mainly on group, family and individual therapy. "Individual therapy" can help the client clear their thoughts and emotions, which are likely at the root of addiction.

On the other hand, "family therapy" can be a good tool to help resolve family conflicts that may affect or worsen an individual's addiction. Furthermore, group therapy can also be very helpful, in group therapy the individual can learn from other people's addictions and how they overcame their addictions.

Dealing with addiction is difficult, even harder to deal with alone. Generally, the psychologist will work with the client through all stages of recovery treatment to ensure the greatest likelihood of success, either alone or in a group setting. Aanya notes that "most addiction psychologists work with their patients' families and incorporate group counseling in addition to individual therapies" (Aanya). These psychologists also tend to work with their clients' family members to educate them about how addictive behaviors affect the entire family. You would provide them with helpful strategies for dealing with the side effects of their addictive behaviors.

On rare occasions, Aanya also concludes that "a psychologist's duties may include referring clients to employment resources or support groups" (Aanya). Support group sessions focus on 12-step programs that help clients develop coping strategies for the challenges they face every day. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, most addiction psychologists work in "mental health and substance abuse outpatient clinics." While others will work in local, state and private hospitals.

Addiction psychology is needed as a “specialty” because of the wide range of excessive behaviors that are considered possible addictions, as well as the complexity of the risk factors that lead to addiction. According to the APA, genetics play an important role in addiction. Scientists have suggested that genetic problems may affect the brain's prefrontal and subcortical cortex, responsible for our cognitive process. When this area of ​​our brain is damaged, we have less control over our cognitive behavior and it is easier for us to develop behavioral problems. Therefore, those who have a genetic predisposition to addiction can benefit greatly from this specialty, either with knowledge or future treatments.

This camp benefits anyone who falls into the APA addict category. Ranna Parekh, MD, APA, states in her article What is Addiction that “individuals with limited control, social problems, risky use, and physical problems” (Parekh) fall into the severe category of substance use disorder, also known as addiction. . Those who are concerned that their repeated substance use or engagement in a particular behavioral activity is causing impairment and distress in their daily lives or the lives of their loved ones may choose to seek help from a specialist psychologist. in vices. For process and treatment, addiction psychologists rely heavily on parallel aspects across clinical psychology such as: B. The integration of science, theory, and practice to understand, predict, and mitigate mismatches in an individual's behavior.

Addiction psychology shares many of the fundamentals of clinical psychology, such as integrating science, theory, and practice to understand, predict, and change a person's behavior for the better. It is not just a physical need to smoke or drink, but an emotional and mental need. Addiction psychologists, as compared to clinical and counseling psychologists, must deal with clients and patients with inherently resistant and relapse-prone behaviors. They all use group, family and individual therapy to help their clients overcome psychological stress and then work towards recovery.

Addiction psychology primarily comprises the disciplines of clinical psychology and abnormal psychology and promotes the application of research information to properly diagnose, assess, treat, and support clients dealing with addiction. However, this field has branched out due to complexity and the many causal factors that lead to substance abuse/dependence in individuals. It has become a separate field because of the difficulties involved in treating an addict and the special skills needed to properly and effectively treat such individuals.

Addiction psychologists deal with a wide variety of addiction disorders such as substance abuse disorders, gambling or eating disorders, and many other excessive behaviors. Their work is so challenging that they are unable to work in other areas of psychology.

The disease model, the temperance model, and the morality model are some of the early foundations of psychological models of addiction.Sigmund FreudeWilhelm Halstedwere the first scientists to start working with addiction. But the field has no specific founder. There are different beliefs about addiction; Some people believe it's a disorder, while others believe it's a choice. Scientists and policy makers have recognized that prohibition and enforcement are not effective means of controlling and reducing substance use. When the drug is not available, they often get it from indirect sources or worse places like the black market. There is not enough information about the drug, increasing the overall risk.

On the positive side, people have chosen to view addiction as an anomaly and are fighting for more therapy-related solutions rather than punishment and imprisonment. Because research has shown that sometimes punishment works, but it's not the most effective solution. For example, the Operation Clean Recovery article "Treat V. Punish..." argues that "Since the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act in 1914, US drug policy has almost always been on the side of punishment for solving social problems. , caused by substance use/dependence” (Operação Recuperação Limpa, 2019).

In other words, individuals suffering from addiction receive inappropriate treatments, leading to a worsening of the problem. It should be common sense that without an external support system a person is unlikely to be able to fully recover. according to dr He also explains to Erlen about “Treat V. Punish…” “Before the Harrison Act of 1914, it was legal to buy, sell, and use opiates and cocaine. In fact, they were often recommended by doctors.

The Harrison Act did not outright ban these drugs, but it did make it illegal to take cocaine or opiates not prescribed by a doctor. People who freely obtained and consumed these drugs suddenly became criminals” (Erlen, 2019). Furthermore, according to historian William White, “when the Harrison Tax Act was passed, the maximum penalty that could be imposed for violating the law was only five years in prison” (White, 2019).

In less than fifty years, penalties have increased to include the option of life imprisonment and the death penalty.”Laurent Kolb; It is the physician's job to make such decisions.

According to the article "Gene and Addictions" by physicians Bevilacqua and Goldman, recent research focuses on an individual's genetic susceptibility to addiction, the origins of addiction, the prevalence of substance abuse in a community, and the search for effective solutions (Goldman ). Research in this area uses a lot of statistical data to compare different treatments, compare drugs to see incidence rates, and compare incidence rates in a given population/community.

There has also been a lot of research showing that children born into families that have been associated with some form of drug use or simply being exposed to drugs at an early age are at a higher risk of drug addiction and substance abuse later in life. In recent years, there have been more academic publications working to answer these questions and address modern addictive behaviors. In Washington D.C. for example, the media works hard to educate people about the potential dangers of drug abuse.

(Video) The Best Explanation of Addiction I’ve Ever Heard – Dr. Gabor Maté

Washington DC has the highest drug abuse rate in the country and many people die from lack of knowledge and unwillingness to seek help. After all, these same people may have to spend a lot of money they may not have on treatments that can help these people eradicate maladaptive behaviors.

The first goal of addiction psychologists is prevention. By making announcements and sharing knowledge about addictions with the public, as in Virginia, these psychologists are taking the first step to help prevent substance abuse by exposing misinformation and giving people accurate knowledge about the issue at hand. like the opioid crisis. Freedom from addiction is the second step where they use effective coping methods and also psychological methods.

While addiction psychology involves much of the same practice as clinical psychology, someone who is simply licensed as a clinical psychologist does not meet the necessary criteria to be considered qualified for this type of work. While most requirements are met, you must also complete specific courses tailored for addiction counseling to gain the necessary knowledge and experience with substance abuse and addiction in a clinical and real-world setting.

According to Rick Reyes' article "Become a Substance Abuse Counselor..." many states in the United States require "at least a master's degree and license to work as a substance abuse counselor". However, most states only require a bachelor's degree and supervised experience under a licensed consultant who works in clinical settings.

A bachelor's degree is a great way to get started as a recovery worker, there are public and private organizations to work for and all it takes is a bachelor's degree and some experience to get started. Addiction is an important issue, but treatment is even more important. Psychologists must be licensed and have enough experience to effectively help their clients. If they are not careful enough in what they do, the consequences can be dire, possibly even killing the customer.

Undergraduate students are capable of doing abnormal, clinical and drug psychology which would help them understand material related to addiction and addiction psychology if interested in the field. But for graduate students, instruction would be tailored to more specific aspects of the subject; For example, how drugs affect the brain and its actions, or how to help people make better decisions and maintain healthy non-drug coping mechanisms.

Some addiction counselors are licensed psychiatrists and others have master's degrees in counseling with a focus on substance abuse or addiction/addiction studies. According to the article "How to Become a Therapist: Education and Career Roadmap," to obtain a California addiction counseling certification, one must earn an associate's/bachelor's/master's degree in a field of behavioral sciences, with a preference for counseling/addiction counseling. You must then complete a 255-hour CAADAC-approved internship, obtain sufficient supervised work experience, pass an official state-established written exam, and eventually apply for certification from the California Commission on Behavioral Health and expect to complete your combination of education and documented professional experience gained enables you to do so.

The article "How to Become a Therapist: Education and Career Roadmap" (2018) goes on to say that the University of Detroit Mercy, the New York Institute of Technology and the University of the Pacific have the best programs in this field and are considered the best schools for dependent psychologists in the country. Upon graduation, they are qualified to work under the direction of a psychologist to gain clinical and practical experience.

Different federal states have different requirements, but bachelor's program students know the physical and mental aspects of addiction. Classes focus on substance abuse, research and understanding statistics, assessment and treatment. Learn about different types of counseling such as individual, family and group counseling. Students who continue will learn about psychopharmacology, prevention, and how to deal with individual and family emotional issues caused by addiction.

According to Warner, new psychologists with less than 4 years of experience have an average income of $41,633. As they gain more experience, they earn more. The median salary for an addictions psychologist with 5 to 9 years of experience is $47,665, with 10 to 19 years of experience is $48,477 and with 20+ years of experience is $59,850. Therefore, we can conclude that the average income of dependent psychologists ranges from US$40,000 to US$65,000, but psychologists who are doctors can earn more than US$200,000 per year. The United States is one of the best places for this area as we have a comparatively high rate of addiction and research has found that the United States has the highest rate of illicit drug use compared to any other country (Warner, 2008).

Laut dem Artikel "Statistics on Addiction in America",According to the Addiction Center, more than 20 million people in the United States have an addiction and less than 10 percent seek treatment. Furthermore, 700,000 US citizens died from drug overdoses from 1999 to 2017, and these numbers are increasing by the day. (Addiction Center, 2020). The rise of the opioid crisis and other types of behavioral addictions is creating more potential "clients" for this area.

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Many people suffer from addictions, whether to opioids or something like video games, and seek the help they need to avoid permanent damage to their lives or even physical harm. We can conclude that the Psychology of Addiction is a growing and stable professional field, not only that, but the Psychology of Addiction is growing tremendously in the public and private sectors of this field.

Nowadays, more people are willing to pay for a good treatment and spend a lot of money to find a perfect treatment that suits them or their loved ones. You can clearly see the growth in this industry where you can see cheap treatments and really expensive maniacs with luxury facilities. As a result, payment for addiction treatment or clinical psychologists can vary by state or facility. Try applying again. Yes, this field is growing fast, but job opportunities are also increasing, and this field is also becoming very demanding as recruiters are looking for highly qualified professionals who can set up and manage their facilities in a professional manner.

One of the oldest and most controversial arguments in this field is whether addiction is a disease or not, or whether it is an individual choice. According to the Pyramid Healthcare article “Treating or Punishing Addiction: Which Works Better in the Long Term,” addiction is a chronic, progressive brain disorder.

Individuals who repeatedly use drugs or consume excessive alcohol experience changes in brain structure and function. These changes ultimately lead to compulsive substance use and poor executive functioning, which combine to result in an increased risk of maladaptive behavior. The lack of executive functions in the prefrontal cortex of affected individuals leads to a loss of control over the associated behaviors that characterize addiction.

Society understands that seeking treatment is the sole responsibility of the person with substance use disorder. However, it is also society's responsibility to make treatment readily available and easily accessible.

The second controversy surrounding addicts and drug addicts is that one must hit rock bottom before seeking help. As the addiction progresses, if left untreated, the person's condition is likely to deteriorate extremely, affecting many aspects of the person's life. Seeking treatment, either alone or with the help of others, helps people suffering from addictions find ways to more effectively use their cognitive process to overcome addiction and replace misfits with good behaviors.

Another major controversy surrounding addiction is that much of society still believes that addicts should be punished when they perceive that these individuals are breaking the law and should be arrested/fined. A significant number of those individuals who have a drug addiction problem usually break the law not because they want to but because they want to satisfy their substance abuse need, and when they break the law it is usually too late to seek recovery. . Usually, when a person goes to prison with any type of drug addiction, the person never gets professional help or any type of mental health treatment to help him overcome the addiction. However, in 2015, Massachusetts passed a new policy whereby an addict who came forward with the rest of their drugs and paraphernalia would not be arrested and charged. Instead, as Chief Campanello of Gloucester Police said: "Any addict who enters the station with the rest of their drug equipment (needles, whistles, etc.) or drugs and asks for help will NOT be charged" (Campanello, 2015 ).

For the individuals who came forward, it was like a second chance that will hopefully lead to a successful recovery. The Gloucester Angel Initiative also offered them a sponsorship opportunity that would put them on the fast track to recovery. The division of mental dependence is full of controversy, much because in reality there are not the necessary resources to help people who suffer from any type of dependence and it is also difficult to help those who do not have help, do not want it or think they are I do not need it.


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(Video) What is addiction?


1. How Addiction Happens
(How Addiction Happens)
2. Addiction and Substance Use Disorder Mnemonics (Memorable Psychiatry Lecture)
(Memorable Psychiatry and Neurology)
3. The Stream - The psychology of addiction
(Al Jazeera English)
4. Mechanism of Drug Addiction in the Brain, Animation.
(Alila Medical Media)
5. Sex addiction: Five times a day 'wasn't enough' - BBC News
(BBC News)
6. The Neuroscience of Addiction - with Marc Lewis
(The Royal Institution)


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