Innovating Treatment of Addictive Behaviors

Affinity to something is a normal human experience. Having favorites can be considered as a natural phenomenon. When the inclination on a particular something become excessive and has gone out of proportion, it is deemed as an addiction.

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“Addiction” is one of the most important and useful concepts in the field of behavioral and clinical psychology. A single definition of addiction cannot be considered as accurate and precise and consider other definition as incorrect. This is because the term addiction is an abstruse word, and definition may vary in different social groups due to its relative aspect, in which descriptions are based solely on opinions. It has no definite boundaries and sets the premise of its definition (West & Hardy, 2006).

The concept of addiction continually changes throughout time. Nowadays, it was linked to a kind of syndrome impairing the control system of behavior, as losing control over behavior may have noxious effects. The afflicted control system leads to feelings of extreme urge to do a certain activity or takes great priority in a person’s life. A person with addictive behavior experience lacks the ability to maintain abstinence (West & Hardy, 2006).

Addictive behaviors are one of the major causes of detrimental health problems in the medicine field. These behaviors are also the reason behind unreasonable spending of a great sum of money in health care, rehabilitation, legal, and educational aspect (Prochaska, 2004).

Addictive behaviors are a major dilemma which encompasses different social and economic aspect of an individual. Developing an addictive behavior could be destructive and may hinder a person’s social and occupational well-being.

The documented treatment for addictive behavior shows low success rates and numerous frustrations. Some of the frequent encountered problems are the inability to identify borderline patients suffering from addictive behavior and the unsatisfactory management and application of appropriate treatment (Nagel, 1989).

Overeating, compulsive sexual behavior, and alcoholism are documented addictive behaviors which are discussed separately. The separate documentation for the addictive behavior manifested by these disorders largely contributes to the confusion on the field. There are few attempts wherein specialists try to integrate the different objects of addiction and try to formulate various theories that explain the psychological and behavioral phenomenon. However, these attempts failed to establish a concrete body of knowledge and literature encompassing the various aspects of addictive behavior (Nagel, 1989).

It is predicted that efficient treatment on addictive behavior could be developed through the integration of the conventional treatment practices and research paradigms with the contemporary treatment practices. These practices include comprehensive and innovative paradigms (Prochaska, 2004).

Prochaska (2004) presented different kinds of approaches that could be used in treating persons with addictive behavior. One of these is the patient and population paradigm. Psychotherapists who are advocates of this approach focus their attention on the statistical data on the efficacy of a certain treatment on the individual patient.

They often neglect the percentage of the total population participating on the treatment process. This paradigm is concerned on the impact of the treatment which is calculated as efficacy multiplied by the percentage of the participants. The paradigm is trying to explain that the higher efficacy of a particular treatment does not connote greater impact (Prochaska, 2004).

Another approach of treating addictive behaviors is the passive-reactive and proactive paradigms. In the past, therapists utilized the passive-reactive approach. This approach was employed for patients suffering from intense pain, illness, and distress. However, there was the undeniable presence of cases of chronic behaviors and most patients were not suffering pain and ailment. Therefore, they needed an approach that best fit their situation which was the proactive approach (Prochaska, 2004).

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