Psychological Phases of Chronically Relapsing Disease

The following aspects are relevant to the psychological models of addiction. Firstly, the fundamental indicators of demographic characteristics include gender, age, family, and education. The needs and problems of men and women, people of different ages differ significantly. The psychological profile is influenced by marital status, education, profession, and income level as essential for playing interests in different products.

Consequently, the client from the case study is a Hispanic man; he is 23 years old, single, has an incomplete secondary education, lives with a girlfriend and his son. Secondly, the history of addictive behavior illustrates the beginning of the ‘disease,’ the duration, and consequences. The kind of addiction manifested in his youth in a ‘light’ form. Drug dependence has developed in need of more severe opioids, but with a more balanced attitude to their use.

Applications of Psychological Models

Demographics and history suggest that the client suffers from a psychological model of addiction. The leading causes of the emergence and development of drug addiction are the peculiarities of behavior, character, temperament, the influence of social factors. The use of alcoholic beverages, smoking marijuana, and heavy drug use are associated not only with pleasure but also with various difficulties – aggravation of relations in the family, school, financial difficulties, health problems. The family is the most important social institution that determines the effectiveness of an individual’s socialization and largely determines the introduction of adolescents to the practices of deviant behavior.

Parents often provoke the use of something by the child themselves, create conditions for the first sample of alcohol, cigarettes, and various prohibited substances. Another critical factor in developing adverse effects is friendly companies in which alcohol consumption and smoking are accepted. Moreover, the first taste of narcotic substances is usually associated with cannabis preparations. It implies a person’s presence at the time of acquaintance with psychoactive substances in the educational system and under family patronage.

The man experienced psychological problems and difficulties, smoking and taking alcohol to ‘solve’ them. The principle of a vicious circle formed a psychological model of dependence (American Addiction Centers, 2019). He received temporary relief, but the destruction of the ability to solve these psychological problems led to their accumulation. Mental addiction quickly formed after the start of drug use.

The client seeks to regain the state that he experienced while under the influence of drugs, distract himself from unpleasant experiences and negative emotions. Therefore, treatment strategies include various elements, such as using medications to suppress drug cravings, rehabilitation, group and individual psychological consultations, and therapeutic conversations to ensure understanding of problems, providing recommendations, and promoting behavioral changes.

Thus, the main factors determining the beginning of the use of psychoactive substances and influencing the formation of the psychological model of addiction are demographic and social factors. Additionally, the history helps to accurately trace the causes of the ‘disease’ manifestation. Most often, young people begin to use harmful substances within the walls of a school, under the influence of the authority of friends and classmates, as well as due to family troubles. The dependence began to gain momentum rapidly and moved to a new level in adult life.

Sociocultural Factors and the Psychological Models

The ‘patient,’ still living with girlfriend and son, communicates with his mother. Consequently, the man does not belong to any religion; he conducts illegal activities and receives unstable earnings. The client’s perception of the problem and addictive behavior may affect due to the following socio-cultural factors. First of all, it is often difficult for a dependent person to deal with his difficult situation independently; the client needs support from relatives. The principles of a healthy lifestyle and alternatives to addiction will help reduce drug addiction in the shortest possible time and soon eradicate the predicament. People who do not feel a negative psychological impact from their loved ones do not start looking for drugs and using them alone. Apart from medical methods and psychological assistance, religion or the emergence of new life interests aim to form an idea of a future life without drugs. The lack of contact with familiar drug addicts will help to exclude the possibility of a relapse of the client’s ‘disease.’

The primary mass media are often sharply criticized for the incorrect content and style of coverage of such a problem as dependence on harmful substances, ineffective policies in the field of alcohol, smoking, and drugs. Television, the Internet, social networks, and other media sources, instead of fighting the problem, often label, emphasize individual guilt, and contribute to a widespread stigmatizing attitude towards people with addiction (McGinty et al., 2019). For the same reason, the transmitted information is retold through the prism of false ideas and does not ‘return’ an ‘alienated’ person to a familiar and normal state. Thus, the media inflame the stigma of addiction and only strengthen prejudice.

The client’s acceptance of psychological models of addiction treatment can help acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Such therapy teaches people to recognize and accept their mistakes, allow themselves imperfections, and avoid them. ACT encourages people to accept the urges and symptoms associated with opiate abuse will reduce relapses (Osaji et al., 2020). Therefore, in the treatment of disorders associated with using psychoactive substances, the ACT indicates a reduction in the use of drugs and alcohol and a complete cessation of use, followed by abstinence.


American Addiction Centers. (2019). The addiction cycle: Phases of the chronically relapsing disease. American Addiction Centers. Web.

McGinty, E. E., Kennedy-Hendricks, A., & Barry, C. L. (2019). Stigma of addiction in the media. In J. D. Avery & J. J. Avery (Eds.), The stigma of addiction: An essential guide (pp. 201-214). Springer.

Osaji, J., Ojimba, C., & Ahmed, S. (2020). The use of acceptance and commitment therapy in substance use disorders: A review of literature. Journal of Clinical Medicine Research, 12(10), 629-633. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Psychological Phases of Chronically Relapsing Disease." September 20, 2022.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Psychological Phases of Chronically Relapsing Disease." September 20, 2022.


PsychologyWriting. "Psychological Phases of Chronically Relapsing Disease." September 20, 2022.