Addiction: Suffering, acceptance, and change

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Carl Rogers stated, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change (see http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/c/carl_rogers.html). Many modern approaches to addiction recovery utilize a dialectical model to examine the change process. Third wave behavioral therapies such as Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), along with mindfulness meditation (MM), and the 12 Step Recovery model of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) use a dialectic based on acceptance of what is and change to what can be. These modern methods make use of the practices of Buddhism that may be effective treatments for addiction recovery. Moreover, when regarding addiction as a form of attachment as defined by the Buddha, the possibility of change comes as a concession to suffering. Suffering As a biopsychosocial disease, addiction affects every facet of a person’s life, and is a true form of suffering. It is difficult to elucidate addiction without considering the criteria of two disorders, Substance Dependence and Substance Abuse in American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition (DSM IV). According to the DSM IV, the characteristics of Substance Abuse include the use of a drug despite significant negative consequences, using the drug in situations that may be dangerous, recurring legal issues, and social maladaptive behavior while intoxicated. Likewise, including the features of Substance Abuse, Substance Dependence becomes more severe and has as its fundamental qualities the physiological and psychological need for the drug. Substance Dependence has two essential aspects, tolerance for the drug [needing larger amounts of the drug t... ... middle of paper ... ...ation as a coping intervention for addiction treatment. Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 28, 379-392. Chen, G. P. (2010). The meaning of suffering in drug addction and recovery from the perspective of exsistentialism, buddhism and the 12-step program. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 3, 363-375. Davis, D.M., & Hayea J.A. (2011). What are the benefits of mindfulness? A practice review of psychotherapy-related research. Psychotherapy, 48, pp. 198-208. Dieff L. A., & Linehan,M.M. (2008). Science and practice in action: Dialectical behavioral therapy for substance abusers. Addiction Science and Clinical Practice , 39-47. Jensen, J. M. (2011, February 11). Vancouver, WA. Palmer, R. L. (2002). Dialetical behavioral therapy for treatment of borderline personality disorder. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment (8) , pp. 10-16.

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