Understanding and Working with Substance Misusers explores the complex nature of addiction and the challenges involved in responding effectively through policy and practice. It examines the biopyschosocial elements of addiction to substances (including alcohol) and, draws together key research findings from these fields to present a new framework for integrating theory and practice. This book fills the need for a text which makes the complex issues surrounding substance misuse accessible to both students and practitioners.

From Disease to Dependency syndrome

From disease to dependency syndrome

The aims of this chapter are to:

  • outline the disease conceptions of addiction, their strengths and weaknesses
  • discuss the development of dependence syndromes, their strengths and weaknesses
  • examine how the notion of dependence syndromes has informed the classification of drug and alcohol problems.

The problem of language and semantics has had huge effects on the substance misuse field, none more so than the concept of addiction as an illness or disease. The idea of disease and its implications for those who suffer from it, and the role of society in preventing and treating it, become bound up within a nexus of competing cultural mores and norms, scientific evidence and political decision making. Throughout most of the twentieth century there was ...

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