Addiction is a complex condition that affects individuals from all walks of life. It is characterized by compulsive behaviors and cravings for substances or activities, despite the resulting harm. While there are many different theories regarding the nature of addiction, two prominent models have arisen in recent years: The disease model and the choice model. Both describe unique perspectives on addiction, but their underlying principles can be complementary as well as competitive.
The Disease Model of Addiction
The Disease Model (DM) views addiction as an illness similar to any other medical disorder, such as heart disease or diabetes (McLellan et al., 2000). As with these types of illnesses, DM asserts that people with addictions should not be held responsible for their condition due to factors outside of their control – such as genetic predisposition or environmental influences- which make them vulnerable to developing an addiction (Doweiko & Doeden 2020). Additionally, DM supports the notion that addicts require professional treatment in order to recover from this chronic illness. This model also posits that individuals suffering from an addiction may relapse even after achieving sobriety; just like diabetes patients may still experience blood sugar irregularities despite proper medication use (McLellan et al., 2000).
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