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Challenges to the prevailing notion that drugs are in and of themselves addicting

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Challenges to the prevailing notion that drugs are in and of themselves addicting

The Canadian Psychologist Bruce Alexander provides a challenge to what we can call a strong biological determinism as an explanation for substance based addictions. In both experimental form, his Rat Park studies and in summarizing of evidence that conflicts with the strong biological deterministic model, Alexander argues that social factors play a much stronger role than biological factors. See his Submission to a Canadian Senate Committee.

The prevailing view is that a key element in the development of an addiction (a term that does not occur in the DSM-IV-TR) to opiates and similar drugs is that the addiction is the result of powerful chemical reactions in the brain. The problem is that it's a weak rather than robust theory. It is weak since it cannot explain either spontaneous withdrawal or recreational use that does not lead to addiction.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_Park

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/371/ille/presentation/alexender-e.htm

All told, the biochemical explanation of addiction has great difficulty explaining the real world data.

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Challenges to the prevailing notion that drugs are in and of themselves addicting

The Canadian Psychologist Bruce Alexander provides a challenge to what we can call a strong biological determinism as an explanation for substance based addictions. In both experimental form, his Rat Park studies and in summarizing of evidence that conflicts with the strong biological deterministic model, Alexander argues that social factors play a much stronger role than biological factors. See his Submission to a Canadian Senate Committee.

The prevailing view is that a key element in the development of an addiction (a term that does not occur in the DSM-IV-TR) to opiates and similar drugs is that the addiction is the result of powerful chemical reactions in the brain. The problem is, that is a weak rather than robust theory. It is weak since it cannot explain either spontaneous withdrawal or recreational use that does not lead to addiction.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat_Park

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/371/ille/presentation/alexender-e.htm

All told, the biochemical explanation of addiction has great difficulty explaining the real world data.

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Dr. Alexander's Rat Park experiment was intended to prove the term addiction is relative and is based on peoples' environments; rather than any addictive value of drugs. Alexander argues that social factors play a much stronger role than biological factors in substance abuse. By concluding this; Alexander alludes, in other words, that a person who has a fairly good life could for example use heroin; that he or she could also decide if and when they should stop and could do so with no withdrawal symptoms or other problems. In ...

Solution Summary

The prevailing notion that drugs are in and of themselves addicting is examined in the solution.

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