Essay by dawn_19College, Undergraduate March 2004

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"Addiction is defined by Bratter and Forest (1985) as a behaviour pattern of compulsive drug use characterised by overwhelming involvement...with the use of a drug and securing of the supply, as well as a tendency to relapse after completion of withdrawal. The authors state that the difference between use and addiction is quantitative rather than qualitative. Addiction is not determined in terms by quantity alone, but more over, is additionally determined in terms of the effect on the individual in his or her social context."

Common signs of addiction include preoccupation with a substance, relationship or behaviour. A loss of control over the use of the substance or a pattern of behaviour, concerns expressed by others about the loss of control and the effects as well as continued, persistent use of a substance or involvement behaviour in spite of negative consequences.

There is no general model for addiction but some of the most influential models of addiction include the moral model (focuses on addiction as a choice), the disease model (focuses on addiction as an illness) and the social learning model (focuses on addiction as a learned behaviour).

During the seventeenth century alcohol was seen as an important aspect in society. It was seen by many as being more nutritious and safer for consumption than water which in most towns was contaminated and caused high levels of disease and was responsible for many deaths. It was also around this time that people were considered as being separate from nature in that they possessed a soul, free will and were responsible for their own actions. It was at this time that behaviour was no longer seen as being a result of biological drives as it had been previously. This view therefore sees abuse of alcohol and other drugs as a...