Pharmacology Theories

Posted: February 16, 2017

In the world we live today, there are numerous cases of drug abuse, addiction, and this gives the need for many ways of treatment. Therefore, many theories seek to explain these phenomena. The pharmacology theories among others suggest thier way to explain the issues of drug abuse, addiction, and treatment.

Theories Associated with Drug Abuse

The cognitive-affective-pharmacogenetic (CAP) theory is the first theory that will be used to explain substance abuse by individuals (Lettieri, Sayers, & Pearson, 2008). Often, the pivotal factor that is used in this theory is the act of a person moving from drug experimentation to substance abuse. The theory suggests that substance abuse often begins as a conflict with an individual (Lettieri, Sayers, & Pearson, 2008). The conflict eventually develops into an anxiety where the person feels that they have a dire need to use a particular drug. However, the response to this concern is what determines if an individual will use the drugs or not. Anyone who believes that he is powerless and cannot control this anxiety ends up using the drugs, as compared to the persons who feel that they are in the perfect ability to regulate the desire they have to use these substances.

The bad habit theory also illustrates cases of drug abuse where individuals feel susceptible for either a particular group of narcotics or for a nonspecific (Lettieri, Sayers, & Pearson, 2008). An individual begins with believing that they must use a certain type of drug, for example, sedatives, to help them relax. The feeling that they are susceptible is often a complicated one and may be purely a psychosocial influence or inherited, or even both. When individuals respond to such sentiments, they end up using the drugs.

The unsocialized drug users model suggests that lack of socialization is a major precursor that causes individuals to become drug users (Lettieri, Sayers, & Pearson, 2008). Studies that have been conducted to clarify this theory compare the personalities of drug addicts to those of individuals who do not use drugs. Most drug users were found to be less social and responsible in society activities as compared to those who do not use drugs (Lettieri, Sayers, & Pearson, 2008).  Also, the study also showed that most drug users do not have internalized norms against the use of certain drugs, as compared to the people who do not use drugs (Lettieri, Sayers, & Pearson, 2008). Individuals with internalized values against drugs cannot use these substances, even if they live in a society that legalizes the use of some of them.

Theories Associated with Drug Addiction

Cigarette smoking, alcoholism, just like divorce, overweight, and child abuse usually run in families. The addictive inheritance of drug dependency has been mainly studied in the case of alcoholism (Obembe, 2012). The studies have shown that children who are born in alcoholic families, but later adopted by non-alcoholic parents, are still four times likely to become addicts as compared to those born to parents who are not alcoholics (Obembe, 2012). Additionally, the study also shows that individuals who have family members who are alcoholic dependents are twice more likely to become dependents compared to those who do not have such relatives. The theory also suggests that the effect is still felt, even if the individuals do not live together.

The exposure theory suggests that when narcotics are introduced into the body, they usually cause metabolic adjustments that, as a result, require that there is continued use of the drugs (Obembe, 2012). The continuous use is so as to avoid the chances of withdrawal effects. Studies that have been conducted to confirm this theory have shown that frequent use of narcotics usually leads to less production of endorphins in the body. The body system begins to be dependent on external chemical agents and, in the end, may become addicted to them.

The adaptation theory also shows that the expectations that individuals have from drugs often lead them to become dependent and addicted to these substances (Obembe, 2012). Individuals usually have their expectations when it comes to taking specific drugs and think that there are some advantages or rewards of using specific substances. In a bid to unleash such benefits, individuals become frequent users of various products and, in the end, addicts. For instance, some people think that resulting to alcohol often causes them to worry less about certain stressful conditions that may be in their life. Such kind of expectation in the end results to drinking problems.

Theories Associated with Treatment

The mental health theory is an approach that is used in the treatment of people with drug addiction issues (Dodgen & Shea, 2000). The systems are usually provided with a variety of professionals in mental health, such as psychiatrists, clinical social workers, counselors, and psychologists, who are entitled with offering different services to the addicts. The system usually works based on the theory that the patients will receive the kind of attention and care they need through counseling programs and other outreach programs done by these specialists (Sinacola & Peters, 2012). The theory believes that the problem of these addicts is first mental, before it manifests as an addiction, and that dealing with it from such an approach is one of the most efficient ways to combat the habits.

The addiction treatment system is another theory that is used and is provided by many practitioners (Dodgen & Shea, 2000). Physicians and certified addiction counselors, among other therapists, assist the patients to overcome their addictions. The methods that are used in this model include the biopsychosocial framework where they seek to understand the different ways through which patients became addicted to a various substance (Sinacola & Peters, 2012). The treatment usually focuses on the complications of addiction, overdose, and even withdraw effects. In the end, the focus is to eliminate the use of any drug by the patients.

The medical system is another model, because doctors are usually equipped with knowledge on how to handle patients with substance use disorders (Dodgen & Shea, 2000). In this approach, the practitioners often identify diseases of patients that may be caused by addiction to drugs, and then prescribe medications and other activities that will help the individuals overcome the addictions. Also, they focus on the consequences that may come with overdose and withdrawal of any drug substance.

In conclusion, it is important that individuals understand all the theories that regard drug use, addiction, and treatment, especially, those who are involved in agencies that seek to help persons with substance abuse issues. If the models are used in conjunction with each other, they are sure to produce better results and a better understanding of all the three phenomena.

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