Author Pamilla Ramsden presents a thorough understanding of abnormal psychology for undergraduate students with a focus on the integration of psychology, biology and health. Understanding Abnormal Psychology: Clinical and Biological Perspectives goes beyond a descriptive overview of clinical disorders to provide a critical appreciation of the multifaceted aspects of mental illness. Each disorder is clearly and succinctly explained with the support of case studies. These examples are then used to introduce students to the debates surrounding current research, the biology of abnormal disorders and standards of treatment. The bridge between the biological elements of brain functioning and the psychological mechanisms that are responsible for coping and adjustment is thoroughly explored. This valuable consideration of the range of elements involved in the diagnosis and treatment of clinical disorders gives students a broad and critical understanding of this complex and fascinating field.

Substance-Related Disorders

Substance-related disorders

Learning aims

At the end of this chapter you should:

  • Understand the various models of addiction
  • Understand how drugs work in the brain
  • Understand the various types of drugs
  • Be familiar with the various treatments that are used in substance-related disorders.


Case Study

Diane began drinking with her friends when she was 12. It started as a bit of fun but soon she found herself drinking 10 to 12 cans of cider every weekend. Her parents had recently divorced and she found that she was often left unsupervised. Her mother had gone back to work and she spent every other weekend with her father. The divorce was amicable and her parents happily went to other lives. They were solid middle-class and Diane was their only child. Diane ...

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