6. Causes and Maintenance of Addiction

  1. Professor G. Hussein Rassool PhD, MSc, BA, FRSPH, ILTM Cert. Ed., Cert. Couns., Cert. Director Visiting Professor Formerly Senior Lecturer1,2,3

Published Online: 4 SEP 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444327816.ch6

Addiction for Nurses

Addiction for Nurses

How to Cite

Rassool, G. H. (2010) Causes and Maintenance of Addiction, in Addiction for Nurses, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444327816.ch6

Author Information

  1. 1

    Departamento de Psiquiatria e Ciências Humanas da Escola de Enfermagem de Ribeirão Preto da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil

  2. 2

    Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil

  3. 3

    Department of Addictive Behaviour and Psychological Medicine, Centre for Addiction Studies, St George's University of London, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 SEP 2010
  2. Published Print: 15 OCT 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405187466

Online ISBN: 9781444327816



  • addiction - causes and maintenance;
  • theories and models of addiction - reasons for initiation into substance misuse;
  • addictive behaviours, as drug taking, heavy drinking or gambling - seen as a sign of moral weakness, bad character or having a weak will;
  • neuropharmacological theories of addiction - requiring understanding of pharmacological effects of drugs on brain;
  • second pathway, endogeneous opioid system - involving endogenous opioids;
  • genetic model, putting forward - a genetic predisposition to alcohol or drug addiction;
  • genetic factors and role in addictive behaviour - still unclear and needs further investigation;
  • behavioural theories, use of psychoactive substances - viewed as acquired behaviour;
  • addiction, a socially constructed phenomena;
  • bio-psychosocial perspectives - multiple pathways to addiction, and individual pathways depending on individual


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Moral theory

  • Disease theory

  • Neuropharmacological theories

  • Genetic theory

  • Psychological theories

  • Sociocultural theories

  • Bio - psychosocial theory

  • References