Reflecting the latest content in the DSM–5, The Spectrum of Addiction presents a comprehensive overview of addictive behaviors and habits from early use through risky use, severe-risk use, and addiction. Authors Laura Veach and Regina Moro draw from their experience in both teaching and counseling to provide real-world knowledge and evidence-based practices for working with clients who fall within the spectrum of addiction ranging from experimentation to physical addiction and recovery. With a unique focus on neuroscience, integration of CACREP standards, and extensive coverage of addictions across the lifespan, the book serves as a practical resource for future addiction counselors. The Spectrum of Addiction is part of SAGE’s Counseling and Professional Identity Series. To learn more about each text in the series, please visit

Experimentation and Seeking Altered States

Experimentation and Seeking Altered States

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this chapter, the reader will be able to

  • understand and describe the factors related to seeking altered mental states;
  • demonstrate the ability to search for prevention programs; and
  • describe the importance of protective factors in prevention work.


Social and Cultural Factors

Seeking Altered States

Chapter 3 outlines the brain’s response to mood-altering substances, and this chapter examines other factors that influence the use of substances in the pursuit of altered states of being. Drug use has long been studied to better understand why the human condition seems hard-wired to seek mood-altering states, particularly euphoria, or in the current vernacular, getting high. It is also clear that a “drug-free” society is not realistic and has not ever existed ...

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