Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry (Csiernik, R. 2016). Addiction is like a trap you go there to escape from your problems or harmful effect in your life. We treat addicts differently because of their dependency. It is like a spider web, likes like weak, soft, and comfortable, but once the spider web is all around, you are no longer in charge of your life.You think it’s your only or best solution you have I think every addiction has reasons. But as a society refused to see the bottom line reasons and blam the victim.
There are several reasons people do drugs. People do drugs to feel useful, powerful, self-confident and increased energy (like depressants provide a feeling of relaxation and satisfaction).To feel better around other people, to reduce social anxiety or stress. Sometimes they only want to reduce or escape from their trauma or depression (so what I am taking drugs to reduce my pain). To improve performance is also a leading cause to use drugs like student wants to improve their grads or someone want to boost their job performance (people use the chemical substance to keep going or make it to one level up).
Curiosity to explore new thing or higher tolerance for drugs or substance use, these are also two valid reasons for some people to start the use of the different drug or more dangers drugs to discover new experiences and excitement. When people start using drugs or alcohol to escape from their trauma, pain or relax, they think they can leave things whenever they want it’s their choice. But over time, they start to believe that they need drugs or alcohol to relax or that you can’t cope with their grief or pain without them, which can gradually lead to dependence and addiction. Addiction tendency to persist with an appetitive or rewarding behaviour that produces pleasure and sates desire (Skinner, W., & Heries, M. 2014).
Theories on addiction is a blueprint of a phenomenon that explains why people use psychoactive drugs. It’s a way of seeing things regarding addiction. There are thundered of theories and perspectives to explain addiction.We always talk about heart diseases, cancer and other illness and think that is the leading cause of death in our society. We are wrong; addiction is a more severe and common issue than these diseases. Theories on addiction help us to understand the phenomena of drug use, and in the same environment tell why some people are more prone to become addicted. To under what factors are most influential in addiction, we have to understand addiction theories. When we see addiction as a disorder, it explains the biological model of addiction. According to the biological model, a person, genetics may cause addiction (especially alcohol addiction). Some people have more desire or at risk of developing an addiction because of their genetics. They are vulnerable because of their brain function. Sometimes people also have behaviour control disorder, and it’s hard for them to control their actions. It also explains their compulsive and irritable behaviour. People around them may think they are enjoying drugs by choose, but in reality, it’s challenging for them to resist. Of course, the biological factor is not the only factor.
Culture and living conditions also play a significant role in addiction. The sociocultural theory explains how cultural standards and harmful effects cause addiction. Persons who live in poverty are more vulnerable to addiction or drug uses because of higher crime rates and fewer opportunities. It is a stigma that an underprivileged person is more prone to become an addict, but we never acknowledged why. People also learn about their addiction to learn from family members, peers, and the media. People who belong to disadvantaged groups are more likely to be abuse drugs and alcohol, and the stressful environment is a crucial factor for mental health problems. Addiction problems under the sociological model are to treat societal issues, such as poverty and racism, rather than individuals.
Addition theories also explain the moral aspect of addiction. The moral theory model completely ignores genetic and physiological factors. According to this theory, drug-dependent or addicts were considered morally weak and corrupt. Under this model, addiction is the fault of personal character. Because addiction is a personal choice and desire, the only way it can fix is punishing or spiritual counselling. Moral theory shows lots of Oppression and stigma for addiction. It gives addict negative feeling about their self, and they treat themselves as a loser (self-labelling).
The addict is not just an addict. They are a human being; first, we have to understand the environment, sociological or biological factors so we as a social worker or mental health worker can make differences. Self-advocacy is the most effective tool to fight against addiction stigma. Pain buried inside the addict is impossible to measure. Being a social worker or mental health worker, we influenced by different assumptions, theories and viewpoints that must adopt an anti-oppression perspective. We have to learn how to apply social worker general skills (assessment skills, communication skills, empathy skills and listening skills). Explore ourselves and advocate others to build an encouraging and respectful environment without stigma.
- Csiernik,R.(2016).Substance Use and Abuse : Everything Matter , Chapter Two, 2eds.Toronto, Canadian Scholars Press Inc.
- Hicks,S.(2010).Theory and Approaches to Social Work Practice .In S .Hicks ,Social Work in Canada (pp.54-75).Toronto :Thompson Education Publishing .
- yIves, N., Denov, M., & Sussman, T. (2015). Social Work Theories. In N. Ives, & M. D. Sussman, Introduction to Social Work in Canada (pp. 31-62). Don Mills: Oxford University Press.
- Skinner, W., & Heries, M. (2014). Biopsychosocial Plus: A Practical Approach to Addictions and Recovery. In W. Edited by Skinner, & M. Heries, Fundamentals of Addictions (pp. 3-27). Toronto: CAMH.