Disease Model Of Addiction

The disease model of addiction is a way of viewing and treating addiction in a "medical model". This perspective views addiction as a physical disease process with biological, neurological, genetic, and environmental sources and believes that treating all of these aspects simultaneously has the capacity to "cure" the problem. This is a change from the old-fashioned idea that addiction is a moral failing. Treatment under the medical model evaluates the actual addiction and attempts to treat the underlying problems. For example, many people who become alcoholics or drug addicts start using substances as a means of trying to control depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder. When these problems are identified and are treated with the appropriate medicines and supplemented by counseling these addictions can be managed. The older views of addiction as a moral failing was largely based on religious ideas of sin. This caused people, even doctors and other professionals, to maintain that abstinence was the only solution and that that was easy to achieve if one had the moral resolution to do so.

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