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Social work theory - Essay Example

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Drug addiction and alcoholism disrupts the basic unit of society, the family, leaving deep scars that are often permanent. While there are…
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Social work theory

2). There are several models and theories about the cause of substance abuse and dependence used to provide an explanation of addiction. These models have strong implications on the interventions that practitioners implement.
An explanation that addiction/alcoholism is a consequence of an individual’s personal choice is adhered to by proponents of the moral model. The view that indulgence in alcohol and substance abuse is a personal choice makes it justifiable for an individual to be punished. Another perspective views addiction/alcoholism is related to the parent’s excessive neglect during childhood. This type of explanation is characteristic of the socio-cultural and psychological models of addiction. Several studies reveal that people who become addicts have underlying psychological disorders and these interact with certain socio-cultural factors to cause further exacerbation of substance abuse. . In the well-being paradigm, “substance abuse is viewed as reflecting an underlying, intra-psychological deficiency” (Maton et al., 1992, p. 81). These psychological problems cause emotional pain and relief from pain is readily offered by alcohol and drug use.
On the other hand, the disease concept of substance abuse postulates that addiction is a primary disease and not secondary or corollary to another condition. “Perhaps the greatest advantage to the articulation that addiction is a disease has been to remove the moral stigma attached to chemical dependency and to replace it with an emphasis on treatment of an illness” (Fisher et al, 1997, p. 45). However, a major criticism of this model is the notion that it relieves the substance abuser from taking responsibility of his/her behavior. It paints a picture of the alcoholic or addict as powerless and a passive victim in the drinking/ drug use behavior. To their defense, proponents of the ... Read More
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