Psychology Studies of Addiction: Cognitive Theory and Behavioral Theory

             Addiction is a common focus of psychology studies, as substance abuse and psychological function are related on many levels. Alcohol addiction in particular brings about many issues since it is more socially acceptable and easily available than other drugs. Cognitive Theory and therapy options have recently proved effective in explaining and treating alcohol addiction. Cognitive theory is related to behavioral theory and often uses similar means during treatment. Cognitive theory differs, however, from 12-step Theory that suggests that alcoholism is an incurable disease.
             Cognitive Theory addresses alcohol addiction and other substance addiction in terms of both neuroscience and psychology. Tools including human brain imaging, drug intervention trials, and cognitive testing are used to pinpoint the reasons behind addictive behavior (Li, 2003). Li (2003) explains that the link between brain function and addiction occurs in the frontal lobes of the brain. There, the confluence of pleasure-related chemical receptors become accustomed to the flooding of pleasure associated with drug and alcohol abuse (Li, 2003). The brain then alters itself and becomes accustomed (addicted) to the chemicals in its system.
             Some cognitive theory therapies already exist, and others are being developed through research into the cognition-addiction link (Cilente, 2003). Li (2003) reports that testing, including MRI brain image mapping, can isolate the places in the brain that work differently in those who have a genetic predisposition for alcoholism or those who are presently addicted. This can allow researchers to identify what drug and medical treatments may assist an individual in resisting the urges associated with alcohol addiction (Cilente, 2003). Many cognitive therapy methods are already used to treat addiction. Cilente (2003) suggests identifying the underlying reasoning why substance use occurs, including the frequent causation related ...

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