Perspectives on Substance Use, Disorders and Addiction, Second Edition, is a philosophical and clinical text that suggests new ways to think about the relationships, enjoyment, and troubles with substances of pleasure. The book is designed for students and clinicians who come in contact with and treat individuals and families struggling with the causes and consequences of substance use disorders and addiction. The second edition of Perspectives presents a refreshing blend of ancient and contemporary ideas on the natural pleasures and potential powers of alcohol and drugs in our everyday individual and collective lives.

Self-Medication, Psychoanalytic, and Psychodynamic Theories

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 ...

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