Addiction Theories. Free Essay Example

Published: 2023-08-06
Addiction Theories. Free Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Healthcare Drug abuse Behavior change
Pages: 2
Wordcount: 391 words
4 min read

Many addiction theories have been proposed to describe trying to explain the reasons behind addiction to substance abuse. However, there are key driving factors that necessitate substance use. In a case where an individual is given an opioid medication to provide quick temporary relief or for eliminating aversive stimulus, the behavior for taking is reinforced negatively (Deuteronomy 6:1-25). A patient is likely to receive a higher dose than prescribed mainly when they wish to experience pain relief for a longer time (Proverbs 13:24). Therefore, the most applicable theory in addiction is negative reinforcement since it clearly states how an individual is deviated from drug-seeking behavior (positive reinforcement) to using drugs to remove or alleviate aversive and uncomfortable body state (Proverbs 19:18).

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Negative reinforcement states that a person is likely to abuse the drug by ignoring the resultant consequences since they alleviate the sensation of uncomfortable body states such as negative craving, arousal, mood, or withdrawal (Baler & Volkow, 2016).

A counselor using the negative reinforcement theory to curb a victim’s addiction would have a direct impact on how the person’s current and future behavior would change. It is because the method uses the best and suitable approach for each situation a victim is engaged to. Negative reinforcement restrains the negative states that a victim might go through, such as physical pain, emotional adjustments, depression, and irritability (Magoon et al., 2017).

All these would be captured by dealing with the sources of pain or whatever led to the victim’s addiction, stress, and how the executive function systems of the victim would cope up with the entire theory being used (Philippians 4:6). In the intoxication stage, the counselor would reward the effects of drugs leading to addiction with the anticipation that the person would develop new drug-habits. The withdrawal stage would be dealt with by checking and handling stress-response (Dishion, 2016). Negative reinforcement plays a crucial role in controlling and maintaining addiction.


Baler, R. D., & Volkow, N. D. (2016). Drug addiction: the neurobiology of disrupted self-control. Trends in molecular medicine, 12(12), 559-566.

Dishion, T. J. (2016). From dynamics to function: Negative reinforcement as an amplifying mechanism. Assessment, 23(4), 518-523.

Magoon, M. A., Critchfield, T. S., Merrill, D., Newland, M. C., & Schneider, W. J. (2017). Are positive and negative reinforcement “different”? Insights from a freeoperant differential outcomes effect. Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior, 107(1), 39-64.

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