The essence of the addictive behavior is that in order to escape from reality, people are trying to artificially change their mental state, which gives them the illusion of security, restoration of equilibrium. There are different types of addictive behavior, such as pharmacological and non pharmacological one. They represent a serious threat not only to addict health (physical and mental), but also to those who surround them. Significant damage is being done on interpersonal relationships.
There are a lot of definitions of addiction. There is one of them: addictive behavior – is a form of destructive behavior, which is expressed in an effort to escape from reality by changing person’s mental state by taking certain substances or permanent fixation of attention on a certain subject or activity, which are accompanied by the development of intense emotions. This process is so exciting a person that begins to manage his life. A man becomes helpless in the face of own addiction. Strong-willed efforts become weaker and make it impossible to resist the addiction.
Absent a clear definition of addiction, researchers will continue finding it very difficult to determine addiction prevalence rates, etiology, or the necessary and sufficient causes that stimulate recovery. Absent a working definition of addiction, clinicians will encounter diagnostic and treatment matching difficulties (e.g., Havens, 1982; Marlatt, 1988; Shaffer, 1987, 1992; Shaffer & Robbins, 1995).
Addictive personality in their attempts looks for his purpose and too one-sided way of survival – avoiding problems. Natural adaptive addict capabilities are infringed on the psycho-physiological level. The first sign of these disorders is the feeling of psychological discomfort. Psychological comfort may be impaired for different reasons, both internal and external. Mood swings always accompany our lives, but people have a different perception of these states and they can react in many ways. Some are ready to face the vagaries of fate, take responsibility for what is happening and make decisions, while others stand even short-term and minor fluctuations in mood and mental and physical tone with difficulties. Such people have a low tolerance to frustration. As a way of restoring psychological comfort they choose addiction, trying to change mental status artificially, obtain subjectively pleasant emotions. Thus, the illusion of problem solving is created. Such a way of dealing with reality is fixed in the man’s behavior and becomes a sustainable strategy of interaction with reality. The attractiveness of addiction is that it represents the path of least resistance. Subjective impression is created that way, we can not help thinking about problems, forget about the worries, get away from difficult situations, using different variants of addictive realization.
The desire to change the mood by addictive mechanism is achieved through a variety of addictive agents. These agents include substances that alter mental states: alcohol, drugs, medications, toxic substances. Involvement in some types of activity also contributed to artificial change in mood: gambling, computer, sex, overeating or fasting, work, play long rhythmical music.
Distraction from the doubts and feelings in difficult situations from time to time is necessary to everyone, but in the case of addictive behavior, it becomes a lifestyle, during which a person is trapped in a permanent departure from reality.
Addictive implementation replaces friendship, love and other kinds of activity. It consumes time, effort, energy and emotion and as result an addict is unable to maintain a balance in life, includes in other forms of activity, enjoys interacting with people, gets involved in something, relaxes, and develops other aspects of the personality, shows sympathy and emotional support even for closest people (Santrock, 2010).
Common human experience, social norms, values, knowledge and ways of working are acquired, and the personality is formed in communication with other people. Addict shuts itself off from these processes stops to enrich his life experience, violating the most important functions of communication. There are difficulties in the process of mutual addict activity with other people. The need for self-knowledge, self-affirmation and confirmation of a person with addictive features is implemented in its contact with the addictive agents, but not in communication. Searching the addict fulcrum does not go beyond the addictive implementation. Along with dysfunctional processes in communication, such important mechanisms of interpersonal perception as identification, empathy, reflection are broken.
These dependencies become a problem, huge problem for the world’s population. Depending demolishes the family, friendship, love, dreams and ultimately lead to the destruction of all mankind. Drug addiction draws in its network. Doctors worldwide had lost their legs in searching of salvation from this deadly addiction. Incidentally, the word is well characterized by an extreme form of dependence. A huge amount of drugs are come up, some of which replace the relationship, others suppress it. There are special organizations that are engaged in rehabilitation of drug addicts and alcoholics, some of them are state agencies, other private.
“Drug addiction (dependence) is compulsively using a substance, despite its negative and sometimes dangerous effects. Drug abuse is using a drug excessively, or for purposes for which it was not medically intended.” (Health guide, 2011).
Another feature of drug addiction is that it is a pathological condition is largely irreversible, and the negative changes that have occurred in the human soul as a result of drug abuse, remain with him forever. This drug is similar to the injury: if the leg amputated, it will not grow again scars in person’s heart heal much more difficult than on person’s skin.
The rapid spread of drugs and drug use among youth is associated with the simultaneous existence of several groups of factors, each of which, taken separately, is not provoke drug addiction. I have in mind particularly the age, the systemic crisis of society, the decline of living standards, etc. These groups of factors, taken separately, create a general negative situation of childhood. However, their simultaneous action generates unusually favorable conditions for youth drug abuse. The problem is aggravated by criminal situation, the risk of contracting various infections, including AIDS. “An association between drug use and delinquency has been established, and this connection can take a number of forms. Crime may be an instrument of drug trade. Drug users may also commits to pay for their habits”(Siegel,2002).
Drug addiction can be viewed as a social ‘contagious’ disease, which is spread within social groups. Therefore it is impossible ‘isolated’ existence of a drug addict in the environment – sooner or later, a group formed around the affected drug use (NIDA InfoFacts, 2009).
On this basis, I can not consider treatment at a stage of formed addiction how the only combat way of spreading drug addiction. Such an approach does not and can not give a positive result.
With full confidence I can assert that modern medicine has no effective means of drug addiction treatment. In most cases, treatment is reduced to hospitalization, the loss of patient ability to take drugs, holding detoxifying and fortifying treatment. The listed events cropped withdrawal syndrome, destroy physical dependence. However, psychological dependence, which plays a crucial role in the development of drug addiction, remains out of reach for the psycho-therapeutic interventions, which are exist today. Established medicine tradition (psychiatry and clinical psychology) to associate drug use and abuse with any psycho-pathological processes in individuals, only can the drug problem.
Thus, from the psychological point of view, addiction is regarded as a problem of individual drug users in a specific sociology – cultural context. Thus it becomes clear that an effective rehabilitation work necessary to implement an integrated approach that involves working with the personality of the addict, with his closest micro-social environment, as well as society as a whole: it must change their attitude towards drugs and drug addicts so that at least not reinforce their relationship to themselves as social misfits, losers, or rebels. Drugs attitude does not exist separately from the relationship to other aspects of life and therefore the attitude can be changed only in the context of the changed relationship between the individual systems as a whole.
In conclusion, I can say that problems associated with drug abuse, I see as a person problem, who uses drugs in a particular sociology-cultural context, where the society and cultural environment react to this very controversially.
Havens, L. The choice of clinical methods. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 18, 1982. pp. 16-42.
Health guide Drug Abuse and Dependence. Available at http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/drug-abuse-and dependence/overview.html Saturday, April 9, 2011.
Marlatt, G.A. Matching clients to treatment: treatment models and stages of change. In Donovan, D.M. & Marlatt, G.A. (Eds.) Assessment of addictive behaviors, (pp. 474-484). New York: Guilford Press, 1988.
NIDA InfoFacts: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction. Available at http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/treatmeth.html , September 9, 2009.
Santrock, J. Life-Span Development. McGraw-Hill, 2010.
Shaffer, H.J. The assessment and diagnosis of addictive disorders: The use of clinical reflection and hypotheses testing. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 4, 1987. pp. 103-113.
Shaffer, H.J. The psychology of stage change: the transition from addiction to recovery, in J.H. Lowinson, P. Ruiz, R.B. Millman (Eds.), Comprehensive Textbook of Substance Abuse -2nd edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1992. pp. 100-105.
Shaffer, H.J., & Robbins, M. Psychotherapy for Addictive Behaviors: A Stage Change Approach to Meaning Making, in A. M. Washton (Ed.), Psychotherapy and Substance Abuse: A Practitioner’s Handbook. New York: Guilford Publications, 1995. pp. 103-123.
Siegel, J. Larry. Juvenile Delinquency: theory, practices and law. Wadsworth Publishing, 2008.