Module 4: Psychological Models of Substance Misuse
In Module 3 we examined what is happening on the brain side of the brain-mind-behavior chain with regard to substance use, substance misuse, and substance use disorder (SUD). Our emphasis in Module 4 centers around psychological theories concerned with the mind-behavior part of this chain. Generally, psychological models in our biopsychosocial framework address cognitive (thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, learning, knowledge) and affective (emotions, feelings) dimensions. Topics we explore in Module 4 include models related to cognition, information processing, learning, social learning, rational/planned behavior, developmental, psychodynamic, attachment, self-medication, personality, psychopathology, expectancies, and cravings theories. Much of what we examine regarding psychological processes directly relates to what we learned in Module 3 about the brain; it is virtually impossible to completely separate “mind” and “brain” functions. By the end of these readings, expect to have developed an appreciation for and understanding of the psychological basis of substance misuse and SUD, including how these theories might help inform prevention, treatment, and recovery-oriented intervention strategies.
Note: Contents of this module both heavily influenced and were influenced by the contents of the Begun (in press) chapter listed in the references: Begun, A.L. (in press). Psychological models of addictive behavior. In A.L. Begun & M.M. Murray (Eds.), Handbook of social work and addictive behavior. London: Routledge.
After engaging with these reading materials and learning resources, you should be able to:
- Explain how cognition, information processing, learning, social learning, rational/planned behavior, developmental, psychodynamic, attachment, self-medication, personality, psychopathology, expectancies, and cravings model relate to substance misuse;
- Describe the relationship between brain-mind-behavior;
- Identify implications of these theories/models for treatment and recovery efforts.