Week 5-Thompson Discussion Reply


What do you think of the “brain disease” model of alcohol and drug dependence? Is it a valid way of describing addiction? Is it helpful or harmful to the treatment process?


Whether its alcohol or drugs or a combination of both it is the dependency of a substance, how it affects the brain and if there is self-control by the individual or the brain. I must agree with in some instances and disagree in other instances with the “brain disease” model. It is true that alcohol can affect several important vital organs in our body including the brain. The brain, like most body organs, is vulnerable to injury from alcohol consumption. Alcohol effects on the brain tissue can depress the central nervous system. It can destroy brain cells and since the brain cells do not regenerate its affects can be crippling, as shown in Dr. Volkow image scan of what a healthy brain looks like vs. what an addict’s brain looks like. It shows how much damage drug abuse causes in the areas of our brain that provides aide in our self-control (Volkow,2014). In this instance the model can uphold and is true. Even the NIAAA provided facts on alcoholism and the brain,

According to the NIAAA, “Alcoholism and the Brain: An Overview” a person’s susceptibility to alcoholism–related brain damage may be associated with his or her age, gender, drinking history, and nutrition, as well as with the vulnerability of specific brain regions. The NIAAA also looked at neurobehavioral theory of AODU (alcohol and other drug use); alcoholic brain syndrome; brain atrophy; neuropsychological assessment; neurotransmission; risk factors; comorbidity; disease susceptibility and neuroimaging. Dr. Volkow, also expanded on a that it is no longer has to do with the person, but the brain struggle and the disease that can cause the lack of self-control.

Even with all these facts I still believe that there if some self-control. For example, if you were told that if you don’t stop drinking that you can get cirrhosis of the liver or even death you would do everything in your power to stop or seek treatment. In this instance I must disagree with lack of self-control.


Alcoholism and the Brain: An Overview. https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-2/12…

Dr. Volkow, N. (2014). NIH: Brain Imaging Reveals What Causes Drug Addiction in Humans. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2uNoeB7AsA 17, Feb. 2018