Addiction as a Choice?

About the Course:

Normative thinking about addiction has traditionally been divided between, on the one hand, a medical model which sees addiction as a disease characterized by compulsive and relapsing drug use over which the addict has little or no control and, on the other, a moral model which sees addiction as a choice characterized by voluntary behavior under the control of the addict. Proponents of the former appeal to evidence showing that regular consumption of drugs causes persistent changes in the brain structures and functions known to be involved in the motivation of behavior. On this evidence, it is often concluded that becoming addicted involves a transition from voluntary, chosen drug use to non-voluntary compulsive drug use. Against this view, proponents of the moral model provide ample evidence that addictive drug use involves voluntarily chosen behavior. In this article, we argue that although they are right about something, both views are mistaken. We present a third model that neither rules out the view of addictive drug use as compulsive nor that it involves voluntarily chosen behavior.

Publication Date:

June 2018

Authors

Edmund Henden

Centre for the Study of Professions, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Oslo, Norway

Stanton Peele

Recommended For:

Counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists and social workers. This course is appropriate for all levels of knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Acknowledge the philosophical and economic theory behind free will and addiction.

  2. Identify the current medical based theory of addiction and its pitfalls.

  3. Extrapolate that the vast majority of clients abstain from substances or reduce their use in natural recovery without any formal treatment.

Addiction: choice or compulsion?

People Control Their Addictions

Exam Questions

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Course Number: 102450
Total Credit Hours: 2cr
Exam Fee: $13.94
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Format: Online Article
Rating: 
4.2 out of 5
Popularity: 23 members have taken this course