Origins of Addictions, Alcoholism, and Chemical Dependency
Addictions, alcoholism and Chemical Dependency can be considered as a serious medical disease that is related to the signs and symptoms and it depends on the amount consumed and the frequency of the consumption. Progress in the process of addictions and alcoholism results in the disruption of the lives of the people who are addicted as well as the families of the addicted people.
There are a number of factors that can be considered as the factors that lead to addictions, alcoholism, and chemical dependency. One factor is the genetic predisposition. Genetic susceptibility or predisposition is considered as an increased likelihood that develops into a particular disease which is based on the genetic personality of the person. This phenomenon of genetic predisposition is a result of the specified variations in the genes which is generally inherited from the parents (Langwith, 2010).
Research studies have shown that in 40 to 60% cases the genetic predisposition for addiction and alcoholism can be characterized according to the genes (Psych Central.com, n.d.). With the dynamic changes in the interactions of the genes with the environment and the developments it can be said that addiction can become a more complex and chronic disorder in the brain and it comprises of many contribution to the individual expressions.
There are a number of studies that have stressed on this factor of genetic predisposition to deal with the origins of addiction, alcoholism and chemical dependency. It is presumed that the genes which are included in this disorder when combined with other important factors such as the environmental factors lead to impact on the dependency of the individual on addiction or alcoholism (Park & Sher, 2009).
Chemical dependency can be considered as a initial chronic disease that is influenced with genetic and psycho- social factors along with the environmental elements. It impacts the development of the dependency on the chemicals (Debner, 1985).
Health experts and practitioners of public health state that the environment in which we live and work has a very heavy influence on the behavior with regard to drinking. These environmental factors are generally acceptance of the society, availability of the drugs or alcohols, local or national marketing or the governmental policies in this regard. In many cases the mass media, or the role models or the peer attitudes in most cases encourage alcoholism (Padwa & Cunningham, 2010). When there exists more licensed liquor shops in any particular area, chances are that more individuals would be prone to drink. More and more advertising on drinking is another factor that increases the chances of the individuals to drink. Laws and regulations in any place have a very high influence on the consumption of alcoholism since increasing regulations on alcohol decreases the consumptions. Further in jails it is observed that the depressing environment leads the inmates to consume more alcohol and commit to addiction in order to sustain in the environment.
There are a number of psychological factors that tend to influence the origins and causes of alcohol use. It is stated in research that origins of alcoholism or addiction in most cases are due to biopsychosocial factors (NIAAA, n.d.). Generally any individual having a family history of alcoholism is likely to develop this trait from his ancestors. Other reasons for alcoholism might be mood disorders or antisocial personalities or types of depressions. Sometimes childhood stress sometimes leads to alcoholism. Sometimes the negative effect of alcohol has an influence on the children. In most cases children develop different kinds of emotional disorders and in order to get relieve from them they tend to drink (Fitzgerald, Lester & Zuckerman, 2000).
Existing research on addiction, alcoholism, and chemical dependency
Recently there has been a lot of advancement in the field of alcoholism research. These advances are made in order to increase our understanding of the consumption of alcohol and their consequences. In the United States national surveys are conducted across various states with regard to the problems relating to alcohol, addiction and its related treatment. There are a number of models used for this research (Lamb, Greenlick & McCarty, 1998). One of the models is the Disease model of addiction and the other is the choice model of addiction. There are a number of therapies that are used in order to deal with these problems. These therapies include Dialectal Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Behaviorism etc. that address addictions and alcoholism.
There also exists the American Psychological Association which is a psychological organization that deals with the research on addiction, alcoholism and chemical dependency. This organization has 54 divisions. Among this the Division 50 Society of Addiction Psychology conducts research and training and clinical practice on this area. For laboratory and clinical research National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism exists that accrues on the medical research.
There are different schools of thought that are related to the chemical dependence and addiction. One belief is that drug dependence is equal to addiction. The other belief is that these two terms are not equal. In accordance to DSM, drug dependence incorporates compulsive use of drugs, not being able to stop the usage or failing to have social or family obligations and withdrawing from society. These schools of thoughts are more prevalent in case of chemical dependency.
However, even though there is a lot of research being conducted in order to restrict the use of alcohol and other chemicals it must be noted that there still exists a number of loopholes that needs to be mended before this spreads as a menace in the society. Firstly, conducting research regard to environmental or psychological area is not adequate to address the problem. It is extremely essential that the social factors are given more importance. Especially with regard to the jail mates, their social surroundings cause a very vital element when it comes to research on addiction and alcoholism. Hence with regard to the essentials of training regard to the jail staff it is required that these factors be kept in mind while dealing with alcoholic individuals.
Debner, C. (1985). Chemical dependency. St. Paul, Minn.: Greenhaven Press.
Fitzgerald, H., Lester, B., & Zuckerman, B. (2000). Children of addiction. New York: RoutledgeFalmer.
Lamb, S., Greenlick, M., & McCarty, D. (1998). Bridging the gap between practice and research. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
Langwith, J. (2010). Alcoholism. Detroit: Gale/Cengage Learning.
NIAAA,. Psychosocial Factors in Alcohol Use and Alcoholism. Retrieved 17 February 2015, from https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/10report/chap03c.pdf
Padwa, H., & Cunningham, J. (2010). Addiction. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO.
Park, A., & Sher, K. (2009). Gene-environment interaction in alcohol problems in emerging and young adulthood. Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri--Columbia.
Psych Central.com,. Alcohol Consumption and Genetics. Retrieved 17 February 2015, from https://psychcentral.com/lib/alcohol-consumption-and-genetics/0004943