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Introduction to Causes of Addiction

A. Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP, Kaushik Misra, Ph.D., Amy K. Epner, Ph.D., and Galen Morgan Cooper, Ph.D. , edited by C. E. Zupanick, Psy.D. Updated: Jun 5th 2019

In the previous chapter, we established our working definition of Addiction:

"Addiction is repeated involvement with a substance or an activity, despite the substantial harm it now causes, because that involvement was (and may continue to be) pleasurable and/or valuable."

This definition is descriptive; i.e., it does not explain what causes addiction to develop in the first place. While current addictions research provides a better understanding of the possible causes of addiction, we cannot point to any one single cause. Scientific research has helped us understand the many possible causes of addiction.

At the onset, we admit the limitations of scientific study. Science can only study measurable things. Because some interesting and meaningful topics are not easily measured, scientists cannot conduct research on these topics. We obviously can't measure God or other intangible concepts. We do not seek to enter into a debate about the merits of spirituality with respect to addiction. We are responsibly identifying that our bias is toward science. This is because psychology is a scientific approach to understanding human behavior. Nevertheless, we appreciate that researchers have identified spirituality as a helpful component in the treatment of many diseases and disorders. This includes addictions treatment. In this section, we will discuss the Bio-Psycho-Social-Spiritual Model (BPSS) of addiction. This model includes the valuable contributions of both the scientific and the spiritual. This union strengthens our understanding of addiction.

 

A. Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP, Kaushik Misra, Ph.D., Amy K. Epner, Ph.D., and Galen Morgan Cooper, Ph.D.

Practical Recovery, established in 1985, is the world's leader in collaborative addiction treatment. Located in San Diego, California (USA), we offer a full range inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment services that are customized for each person. We rely on proven methods, informed by the latest neuroscience and addictions research. Our methods empower people to create their own solutions for healthy living, rather than relying on the 12-step powerlessness approach. Most services are provided by doctoral level, university-trained clinicians. We provide individual and group sessions; medications and detox as needed; flexible length of stay; and optional holistic healing. We offer modern comforts and conveniences such as private rooms; gourmet meals; excursions to the beach; mobile communication; and computer access. For a complimentary consultation, call 800-977-6110.

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