Bio-Psycho-Social Issues Foundations of Addiction Studies

For understanding the biology of addiction and designing biological interventions, a neurobiological view is almost certainly the most appropriate level of analysis, in particular when informed by an understanding of the behavioral manifestations. In contrast, for understanding the psychology of addiction and designing psychological interventions, behavioral science is the natural realm, but one that can often benefit from an understanding of the underlying neurobiology. For designing policies, such as taxation and regulation of access, economics and public administration provide the most pertinent perspectives, but these also benefit from biological and behavioral science insights. The ambiguous relationships among these terms contribute to misunderstandings and disagreements. Fundamentally, we consider that these terms represent successive dimensions of severity, clinical “nesting dolls”. Not all individuals consuming substances at hazardous levels have an SUD, but a subgroup do.

the biopsychosocial model of addiction

Culture is different for everyone, even if they were brought up in the same environment. We would like to thank Claire Rowan for her valuable feedback, time, and support—all of which enhanced this work. The criminality variable was based on if the participant had been arrested and booked for breaking the law, excluding minor traffic violations. Booked was defined as being taken into custody and processed by the legal system, even if the participant was later released.

Bereavement and Loneliness: Lasting Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Another component that can influence whether someone develops an addiction is related to social and environmental factors. For instance, if you are physically, emotionally, or verbally abused by your parents or siblings from an early age, turning to substance use is often a common coping mechanism. Yet, others developed their own approaches where they focused on environmental and social components. If stress-related disease can be traced to coordinated activity of biological and behavioral systems that are activated by stress, what of other forms of bio/behavioral co-regulation? Examples can be found in recent analyses of associations linking mental and physical health problems.

  • Many individuals who have serious addictions live in impoverished environments without suitable resources or opportunities.
  • Indeed, concerns were raised about setting the diagnostic standard too low because of the issue of potentially conflating a low-severity SUD with addiction [116].
  • Therefore, the social environment in which one exists contributes to their risk of addiction.
  • During the analysis, it became clear that several interrelated aspects of life were essential in searching for a better life.
  • This helped them stay sober and maintain contact with other people, making them feel normal and part of society.

These imbalances could cause a predisposition and increased risk of developing an addiction. Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) highlights endocrine activity, evoked by noxious physical and emotional stimuli that he referred to as stressors, through which energy stored as glucose is mobilized. This popularized the term “stress” and encouraged many researchers, including psychologists, to conduct stress research. Selye called attention to the possibility that wear-and-tear caused by repeated activation of the GAS may promote disease, and its effects on the thymus hinted at the impact of stress on the immune system. By Amy Marschall, PsyD

Dr. Amy Marschall is an autistic clinical psychologist with ADHD, working with children and adolescents who also identify with these neurotypes among others.

Intrapersonal Contributors to Drug Use

Critics further state that a “genetic predisposition is not a recipe for compulsion”, but no neuroscientist or geneticist would claim that genetic risk is “a recipe for compulsion”. However, as we will see below, in the case of addiction, it contributes to large, consistent probability shifts towards maladaptive behavior. SUD and recovery should be understood using the same coherent approach—as an interplay between biological and psychological factors and social, political and cultural contexts.

  • As current interventions are inadequately addressing the multidimensional and far-reaching nature of the opioid epidemic [5, 6], some scholars have suggested developing more tailored approaches to reach specific, underrepresented populations [7].
  • Indeed, brain imaging findings in addiction (perhaps with the exception of extensive neurotoxic gray matter loss in advanced alcohol addiction) are nowhere near the level of specificity and sensitivity required of clinical diagnostic tests.
  • It overlooks core aspects of the Biopsychosocial model that ground its «Psychosocial» components in biology.
  • As you have come to understand, to look at substance use disorders in a binary fashion, choosing one lens or another is not effective.
  • According to some accounts, whether the event was positive or negative in valence was less important than the degree to which it required effortful life adjustments.
  • The biopsychosocial model of addiction posits that biological/genetic, psychological, and sociocultural factors contribute to substance use and all must be taken into consideration in prevention and treatment efforts.

However, current policies and views on harm reduction and addiction vary from country to country, and this might influence the acceptability of drones as kit-delivery vehicles. The Internet of Things has shown effectiveness in monitoring elderly health and medication adherence (93–96). OTPs and other medical treatments for individuals with SUD may benefit from similar technology. Individuals with SUD can learn to manage their substance use and self-monitor symptoms. Additionally, they use this information to ensure that all of the client’s needs are met, as many medical issues can manifest with mental health symptoms.

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