Explain the biological, psychodynamic, learning, cognitive, and socio-cultural approaches to substance abuse and dependence.

Explain the biological, psychodynamic, learning, cognitive, and socio-cultural approaches to substance abuse and dependence.

Explain the biological, psychodynamic, learning, cognitive, and socio-cultural approaches to substance abuse and dependence.


Substance Abuse

A recurrent use of a substance that repeatedly leads to consequences which further pose many health problems is referred to as substance abuse disorders.

Substance Dependence

Substance dependence, which shows some features of dependence which are considered as physiological and continuous use of the substance, would lead to impaired control over that particular substance.


Alcohol, sedatives and minor tranquilizers, and opioids are considered as depressants. Intoxication, impaired coordination, slurred speech, and impaired intellectual functioning are the effects of alcohol. Disorders such as alcohol-induced persisting amnestic disorder (Korsakoffs syndrome), cirrhosis of the liver and other physical disorders, and with fetal alcohol syndrome are connected with chronic alcohol abuse For the relief of anxiety and short-term insomnia, among other uses, barbiturates are used, that is considered as depressants or sedatives that have been used medically for a long time. Morphine and heroin are derived from the opium poppy which is categorized under opioids. These are used for relief of pain, medically, and they are considered as addictive.


Nervous activity will be increased on the use of stimulants. To increase the availability of neurotransmitters in the brain, arousal at heightening states, amphetamines and cocaine are used. Amphetamine psychosis would result in high doses, resulting in paranoid schizophrenia features. Physiological dependence will occur on repeated use of use of nicotine, mainly by cigarette smoking.


LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline are considered as hallucinogenics. Cannabis (marijuana) and phencyclidine (PCP) also has similar effects. These induce physiological dependence.


Induce feelings of intoxication and euphoria by their action on GABA and dopamine systems due to inhaling of many substances. Use of inhalants would lead to psychological and physical effects and can also be fatal.



Mechanisms of physiological dependence by uncovering the biological pathways are explained under biological perspectives method. Through this method, problems of substance abuse and dependence treatment would start as diseases process.


Excessive drinking and habitual smoking, as signs of oral fixation, would be viewed as problems of substance abuse in the psychodynamic theorists.


For substance abuse disorders, learning theorists view as learned patterns of behavior.


To account for substance use and abuse, cognitive perspectives would try to view the role of attitudes, expectancies, and beliefs.


On the adoption of culturally sanctioned prohibitions against excessive drinking in explaining differences among various ethnic and religious groups in rates of alcoholism would be the view of a sociocultural psychologist. Peer pressure also considered as social factors, which influence the development of substance abuse.


Biological approaches

To substance abuse disorders includes


Use of disulfiram,

Methadone, naloxone, and antidepressants, and

Nicotine replacement therapy.

Residential treatment approaches include hospitals and therapeutic communities.

Nonprofessional support groups, like Alcoholics Anonymous, promote abstinence within a supportive group setting.

Psychodynamic therapists focus on

Inner conflicts are uncovered, which originates during the childhood period, which is the root of the problem of substance abuse.

Behavior therapists focus on

Helping people with the problem of substance abuse

Changing their behaviors by using appropriate techniques such techniques as training on self-control, aversive conditioning, and skills training approaches.

Cognitive-behavioral techniques

To help ex-abusers to cope with the high-risk situations, relapse-prevention training has been used, whereby they could interpret lapses in less damaging ways.

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