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COUN 6202A week 1 Discussion


Discussion: Definitions and Theoretical Models of Addiction

How does one define the complex and often-misunderstood phenomenon of addiction? Previously associated only with the problematic use of chemicals, addiction also encompasses dysfunctional patterns of certain behaviors (Grant, Potenza, Weinstein, & Gorlick, 2010). The term addiction is used throughout this course to include both substance-use disorders and behavioral disorders with addictive components.

Addiction, whether to chemicals or behaviors, is part of a broad continuum (Doweiko, 2019). At one end of the continuum is total abstinence or the non-problematic use of chemicals or patterns of behavior. The moderately problematic use of chemicals or patterns of behavior, known as abuse, is found in the middle of the continuum. At the far end is the destructive use of chemicals or patterns of behavior that characterize addiction. A person can move from the abuse stage on the continuum back to the non-problematic stage with reasonable effort. However, as individuals progress into the addictive end stage, a great amount of motivation, effort, and professional guidance are required to change. Your personal definition as well as the theoretical models that you use in your practice will influence your approach to clients with problems with addiction.

For this Discussion, review this week’s Readings. Then review the media. Examine your personal definition of addiction and consider how your definition aligns with theoretical models of addiction. Select one of the theoretical models of addiction discussed in the Learning Resources.

It is important to note that the terms defined above are descriptive, rather than diagnostic. The DSM-IV included these labels as distinct substance use related diagnoses. The DSM-5 included shift in both conceptualization and description of substance-related diagnoses. Rather than identifying abuse and dependence as separate diagnoses, substance use is the primary focus and diagnostic label, with specifiers included to reflect severity.



your personal definition of addiction. Explain how the theoretical model you selected most closely aligns with your personal definition of addiction. Finally, explain whether your personal definition and the model you selected would apply to Marge from this week’s media “Counseling Session 1.” Why or why not? Support your response using the Learning Resources and the current literature.


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