There is much controversy as to the causes of addiction, not least because the exact biology of addiction is unknown. There are a number of theories, briefly explained below, but none should be considered to be the definitive account nor is any one theory mutually exclusive of any other. It appears that characteristics of the individual including their personality), the properties of alcohol and drugs, and environmental factors interact to produce addiction. But it’s difficult to determine whether the individual’s personality or their environment is the primary factor in causing addiction. A considerable body of research suggests that a tendency to alcoholism may be inherited. Alcoholism seems to be much more common in some families and this inherited type of alcoholism particularly affects men. Individuals may inherit a higher tolerance for alcohol (they need more drink than others to achieve the same effect), or they may inherit an increased chance of becoming dependent. Cognition is the process by which we attain knowledge and awareness of the world, and it has been argued that addiction is not inherited but is a learned behavior. The more one consumes the more likely one is to be become addicted. Addiction can thus happen to anyone. The cognitive approach to addiction assumes that:
* Addictive behavior is ‘learned’
* Addiction is not a disease
* The behavior can thus be ‘unlearned’.
The phrase ‘addictive personality’ is used so commonly in our culture that few of us question whether an addictive personality type really exists, yet many doctors and psychiatrists believe that the term means little or nothing. Certainly, there is little evidence for an addictive personality as such. Personality is complex and the role of personality in addiction is uncertain. It’s difficult to disentangle the effects of personality on addiction from the effects of addiction on personality. There’s no single addictive personality. However, there are a number of personality types that have been associated with addiction, and they are outlined below. The strongest evidence exists for ‘antisocial personality. By Dr. Ciaran Mulholland http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/menshealth/facts/addiction.htm
I used to think a drug addict
was someone who lived
on the far edges of society.
and living in a filthy squat.
That was until I became one…