Identifying and Researching Addiction as a Biological Disease
There are several benefits of identifying and researching addiction as purely a biological disease. First, addiction has a medical component. For instance, substances influence the landscape of receptors in the brain, in addition to, playing the role of neurotransmitters. Hence, the addict behaves as if he or she requires the substance more than the neurotransmitters that exist in the body (Stanton, 1982). Besides, most addicts require biological stabilization, as well as an impatient surrounding, which allow the addicts to have physical withdrawal from the substance. In other words, having an impatient environment aids the recovery process.
On the other hand, identifying and researching addiction as purely a biological disease has several drawbacks. First, regarding addiction as a disease that requires medical attention makes individuals feel helpless over something they can control. Second, this approach does not differentiate between complete addicts and persons with minor substance-use dependence. As a result, people feel stigmatized and helpless.
Also, the disease model makes individuals believe that addiction can be cured instantaneously through medical treatment, which is a lie. Approaching addiction from a biological disease perspective, thus, does not offer persons sufficient knowledge to tackle individual issues that lead to substance abuse or tools to manage their lifestyles. Finally, the biological disease model creates a false belief among addicts that they become cured after receiving medical treatment, with no possibility of recurrence of the condition. This makes individuals vulnerable as they may decide to continue practicing their old behaviors, which may increase the risk of reversion.