Conceptualizing Drug Addiction and Chronic Pain through a Biopsychosocial Framework to Improve Therapeutic Strategies

Conceptualizing Drug Addiction and Chronic Pain through a Biopsychosocial Framework to Improve Therapeutic Strategies

Deterioration of cognitive health has a wide variety of negative effects on the lives of substance abusers, which is why at Soba Recovery Center we understand that it is important to treat each individual’s specific needs. Addiction is an all-encompassing disease that affects every area of the person’s life. Substance abuse can lead to financial struggles and relationship problems on top of the various health repercussions that can occur. This model considers addiction as a biopsychosocial disease that requires in-depth, comprehensive treatment approaches to tackle each of its components. The biopsychosocial model can be used as a form of holistic addiction treatment. Holistic approaches are meant to identify the underlying social and psychological aspects of addiction that may be hidden away. This form of treatment has proven helpful in the past and continues to influence addiction treatment methods today.

So, various forms of psychotherapy are necessary to help learn how to identify negative thinking patterns related to addiction and replace them with new healthy thought patterns. The biological basis of addiction helps to explain why people need much more than good intentions or willpower to break their addictions. This holistic concept allows us to consider a range of factors that influence the development and maintenance of addictive behavior.

Models of Addiction Part 2: Psychodynamic, Social Learning, and Biopsychosocial

Think of it as the therapeutic imagination of what spirituality means to the individual and show respect to each person, so that they can have the freedom to find, explore, revisit or discover their own beliefs. Various forms of psychotherapy help you catch these thoughts and learn how to replace them with helpful ones.

If you are having trouble seeing or completing this challenge, this page may help. Here’s what the completed table would look like with the psychological factors incorporated.

Addiction Neuroethics in the Clinical Context

As with SUD, chronic pain is the result of the plastic nature of molecules and circuits within the nervous system . When activated persistently, the pain neuromatrix and other regions of the brain and spinal cord involved in nociceptive and cognitive-evaluative processing undergo neuroplastic changes that amplify activity, called central sensitization . These changes result in exaggerated responses to noxious stimuli and pain responses being triggered by normally innocuous stimuli . The transition from acute to chronic pain is underlain by greater engagement of emotional and motivational circuitry , paralleling the progression through the addiction cycle.

  • A good formulation should be integrative, and let you understand how all of the patient’s factors interact to lead to the current situation.
  • Taken together, this model provides a holistic conceptualization of addiction that acknowledges the complexity of the disorder and provides guidance toward a solution, which must necessarily be multifaceted and holistic as well.
  • The patient has genetic vulnerabilities for mental illness in her family history, a history of anxious temperament, ongoing substance use, and subtherapeutic medication levels.
  • Engel introduced the BPS model as a contrast to the biomedical model of health and disease, which had long reigned supreme .
  • The disorder becomes a source of pride, and people may celebrate their drug-related identity with other members of the culture (Pearson and Bourgois 1995;White 1996).
  • The model includes the way in which macro factors inform and shape micro systems and brings biological, psychological and social levels into active interaction with one another.

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Emerging Trends in Drugs, Addictions, and Health

It refers to the process of observing and imitating others, thereby resulting in the acquisition of new behaviors. These imbalances could cause a predisposition and increased risk of developing an addiction. If a family member was an addict, genetic factors could be passed down from one generation to the next. A healthy brain rewards healthy behaviors—like exercising, eating, or bonding with loved ones. It does this by switching on brain circuits that make you feel wonderful, which then motivates you to repeat those behaviors.

It is argued that an eclectic to the studying of addictive behaviour appears to be the most pragmatic way forward in the field. Such commonalities may have implications not only for treatment of such behaviours but also for how the general public perceive such behaviours. Cognitive health refers to a person’s reasoning, memory, judgment, intuition, and perception. There can be both short and long term effects of substance abuse on a person’s cognitive health.

The Meaning of “Social”

For example, researchers have found a robust association between trauma and addiction (Dube et al., 2002, 2003; Giordano et al., 2016). Indeed, in the original Adverse Childhood Experiences study, Felitti et al. found that more ACEs increased the odds of subsequent drug and alcohol use. One explanation for this trend is that the toxic stress from trauma leads to a dysregulated stress response. An individual’s stress hormones are chronically elevated (Burke Harris, 2018; van der Kolk, 2014).

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Recent advances in neuroscience provide compelling evidence to support a medical perspective of problematic substance use and addiction (Dackis and O’Brien 2005). Despite these developments, the science is still in its early stages, and theories about how addiction emerges are neither universally accepted nor completely understood. Current ethical and legal debates in addiction draw upon new knowledge about the biological and neurological modification of the brain . All the informants received some degree of therapy and support from social services or specialised healthcare facilities during the years after inpatient SUD treatment in Tyrili. Three received opioid maintenance therapy and were in contact with a GP or therapist. Eight had been in treatment for trauma, anxiety, depression, psychosis or insomnia, and three had or were waiting for treatment for ADHD.

Once a person’s psychological health is stabilized, he or she will be able to gain a full understanding of every crucial aspect of the recovery process. For what it’s worth, the biopsychosocial model is my preferred theoretical framework to approach the issue of addiction from. It incorporates elements from many different models of addiction to take a more holistic view of substance use and addiction. While this model does emphasize some universal aspects of addiction—such as the reward system of the brain being activated by substances—it also acknowledges the many idiosyncrasies and intricacies of addiction. Applying the biopsychosocial model to addiction treatment has encouraged the establishment of a relationship between addiction care providers and their patients. This is a helpful tool that motivates medical professionals to continue developing their treatment methods and motivates patients to ask for help. They’ve shown that addiction is a long-lasting and complex brain disease, and that current treatments can help people control their addictions.

What is biopsychosocial approach in human development?

The biopsychosocial (BPS) framework is an approach that emphasizes the importance of a systemic view of the individual and an integration of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors on human development and functioning.

Equally so, treating addiction requires addressing each of these factors for recovery to be successful. “As with heart disease or diabetes, there’s no one gene that makes you vulnerable,” Koob says. Thus, beyond managing withdrawal and promoting abstinence, treatment programs must emphasize the need for sober housing, stable employment, and a network of supportive contacts that nurture the recovering person’s long-term sobriety. Figure 9.3.6 – Photo by Jeremy Bishop on UnsplashSpiritual Dimension is very personal to people. You will hear about the importance of spirituality to people, whether it is religious or non-religious. It is very important to be respectful around all spiritual dimensions as it is very important to people.

However, it was later adopted to help treat those suffering from and substance use disorders. Figure 9.3.3 – ShutterstockThe mind is to the psychological dimension what the brain is to neuroscience. The term “psychology” refers to a behavioural process that relates to motivation, emotions, mood, or the mind.


This claim coincides with a recent emergence of a global advocacy movement that seeks to construct the use of drugs as a human right (Elliott, Csete, Wood, and Kerr 2005; Lines and Elliott 2007). Almost all the informants started the conversation talking about substance use after discharge from inpatient treatment in Tyrili. Except for one informant, all the informants had used substances after they left inpatient treatment. Some of them had used substances for a couple of days, and others had more extended periods of use. Although there is no “addiction gene” to definitively identify a person as being at risk for addiction, it is evident through twin studies, adoption studies, family studies, and more recently, epigenetic studies that addiction has a genetic component. Individuals who are genetically predisposed for addiction enter the world with a greater risk of becoming addicted at some point in their lives. EMDR therapy is an effective treatment option for people suffering from anxiety, panic, PTSD, or trauma.

The Psychodynamic Model of Addiction

Different tools provided by programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have helped many people. Therapy also helps with people assisting people to get to the root causes of their addiction and learn new coping skills for managing their mental health. Not only is therapy beneficial, but there’s a lot of evidence behind why it works. Over the years, there’s been some debate about which forms of therapy help the most. By having a better understanding of the psychology and psychotherapy behind addiction recovery, you’ll have the more knowledge be hind why it works and how. Hunt takes the rights-based notion further and identifies and characterizes two ethics of harm reduction. First, he describes a “weak” rights ethic, wherein individuals have the right to access good healthcare.

What Exactly Is the Biopsychosocial Model of Addiction? – Psychology Today

What Exactly Is the Biopsychosocial Model of Addiction?.

Posted: Sat, 10 Jul 2021 07:00:00 GMT [source]

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