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Chapter 8: Self-Medication, Psychoanalytic, and Psychodynamic Theories
During the 1970s and 1980s, Ed Khantzian did much to humanize addiction. His 1999 classic, Treating Addiction as a Human Process, gave the field its heart.
He and others debunked the popular and prevailing notions that addiction resulted from hedonism, sociopathy, or self-destruction. Instead, Khantzian suggested that P/SUDs suffer more intensely and with greater difficulty than most when facing life’s hardships. He proposed (in his seminal paper on the self-medication theory in 1985) that they use alcohol and other drugs to self-medicate for these disturbing emotional states, as well as for a range of psychiatric problems. In many cases, this has led them to discover that the short-term effects of their drug of choice can help them ...