Addiction and Dependency
Jane Elphingstone, Ed.D
Professor, Department of Health Sciences
University of Central Arkansas
n Define addiction and identify and describe the
three processes associated with addiction.
n Cite the three influences on addiction.
n Map the progression of addiction.
n Recognize addiction as a brain disease.
n Experience the effects of a dependency and
develop empathy for someone with an
n Addiction –continued compulsive use of
drugs in spite of adverse health or social
n Characterized by three processes:
n Physical dependency
n Psychological dependency
Three Processes of Addiction
n Tolerance – a person needs increasing doses
of drug to get the same effect
n Physical dependency – The body becomes
adapted to the drug; without the drug, the
person has withdrawal
n Psychological dependency- intense desire or
craving for drug when no longer available
Past Year Any Illicit Drug or Alcohol Substance
Dependence or Abuse among Persons Aged 12 or Older:
Influences on Addiction
n Use of the Drug
n Drug abuse runs in families.
n Genetic factors -up to 50 percent of the risk
of developing alcoholism.
n Twin and adoption studies point to an
influence of heredity on:
q the predisposition to drink.
q positive or negative sensations after smoking
n Biochemical markers or “biomarkers” may
help identify those at highest risk.
q P3 amplitude waves – in alcoholics tends to be
q Beta-endorphins – response to alcohol is greater
and more prolonged in people with family history
n Drug use and abuse is often linked to mental
n Environmental factors account for about 50% of
the risk of developing alcoholism.
n Easy availability of the drug influences addiction.
q Children raised in homes with an adult smoker, are more
likely to smoke.
n Early exposure increases the addiction.
Use of the Drug
n Access increases use.
n Perceived availability influences drug use
Susceptibility to Addiction
Progression to Addiction
1. No Use 2. Experimentation
5. Use to Feel Normal 3. Social Use
4. Regular Use
Warning Signs of Addiction
n Person compulsively seeks and uses a drug
regardless of the consequences
q Loss of job, debt, physical or mental problems
brought on by drug abuse, or family problems.
n Exhibits tolerance
n When confronted about their behavior, often
denies they have a problem (DENIAL)
A Brain Disease
n Changes molecules and cells that make up
n Mood changes
n Changes in memory processes and thinking
n Changes in motor skills such as walking and
n Harm reduction programs are designed to
decrease negative consequences of drug
n Programs based on harm reduction are
designed to accommodate those who have
already “said yes” to experimenting with
Strategies for Harm Reduction
n Work with the individual or group
n Modify the environment
n Implement public policy changes
Working with the Individual or Group
q Stabilize the client’s problem behavior
q Reduce the harmful consequences
q Use of pharmacotherapies (nicotine patches,
Modify the Environment
n Local Taxi service for heavy drinkers
n Availability of clean needles for IV drug users.
Implement Public Policy Changes
n Decriminalization of marijuana.
n Addiction and Dependency
q Definition of addiction
q Three processes of addiction - tolerance, physical and
q Three major influences on addiction – heredity,
environment, use of the drug
q Progression of addiction from no use to addiction
q Warning signs
q Addiction is a brain disease.
q Harm reduction approaches can reduce harmful effects on
q The family assumes many roles in their response to the
n For three weeks you will abstain from something you use or do on a
daily basis. Examples of substances or behaviors are caffeine,
chocolate, fried foods, refined sugar, watching television, shopping,
gambling, fast food restaurant eating. Choose a different behavior for
each week. By the end of three weeks, you will have experienced giving
up three behaviors or substances.
n Keep a daily diary with commentary on the substance or behavior for
each day. Your diary should include a record of your feelings related to
the substance or behavior; i.e., “Do you miss it? Did you almost use it
out of habit? Were you aware of how much you used it or engaged in
the behavior? At the end of the week, chart your results on a graph and
write a summary paragraph of your experiences.
n 4. Write a summary of your project comparing your experience of
cessation with that of a drug addict. Use at least two peer reviewed
references to support your comments. Provide references within the
body of the paper and also at the end of the paper in APA format. (1-2