Download Substance Abuse as Symptom: A Psychoanalytic Critique of by Louis S. Berger PDF

By Louis S. Berger

What can psychoanalysis give a contribution to an figuring out of the etiology, therapy, and prevention of substance abuse? the following, Louis Berger contests either the orthodox view of substance abuse as a "disease" explicable in the scientific version, and the modern dissenting view that substance abuse is a behavior controllable during the "willpower" fostered by way of superficial therapy ways.

According to Berger, substance abuse is firstly a symptom. He argues that it is just by means of greedy this incontrovertible fact that we will be able to comprehend why regular ways to remedy and prevention have failed. Berger invokes a large spectrum of modern analytic insights approximately youngster and baby improvement, the psychology of narcissism, and primitive personality issues in making the case that substance abuse mask critical preoedipal (or "midrange") psychopathology. Such psychopathology, working at either cultural and individual degrees, explains why definite contributors develop into depending on illicit medicines; it's both revelatory of why the substance abuse "establishment" -- and society at huge -- keeps to misconstrue the character of the matter and to proffer ill-conceived and useless treatments.

After completely studying the factors, wide awake and subconscious, that retain "mainstream" myths approximately substance abuse, Berger issues easy methods to substitute techniques to prevention and therapy.

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Extra resources for Substance Abuse as Symptom: A Psychoanalytic Critique of Treatment Approaches and the Cultural Beliefs That Sustain Them

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48). Parenthetically, information gathered by the ultrasonic observations of human fetuses further complicates any attempt to disentangle heredity and environment. Apparently a patient and persistent observer can learn to make sense of such data. Observation suggests that in addition to Copyrighted Material 30 CHAPTER 3 biological factors, complex environmental factors that have an impact on personality development seem to be at work very early prenatally (Pion­ telli, 1987, 1988; see also Appelbaum, 1977, pp.

For example, as I indicated above, anyone who, during conversations with mainstream counselors, has ever challenged abstinence as the criterion for cure probably has run across this fanati­ cism. Such dedicated beliefs in this model, however, tend to maintain the received views concerning the nature, treatment, and prevention of the disease(s) of substance abuse. The mainstream views may act to dis­ courage the development or acceptance of any concepts, findings, or approaches that do not conform to the model.

P. l l ) Earlier I referred to an extensive critical literature that argues against biological hypotheses of substance abuse in general. Although previously I emphasized the objections and arguments presented by various unor­ thodox critics of biological models of addictions, I now want to call attention to the fact that some doubts are also raised in the mainstream literature, explicitly as well as implicitly. For one thing, as we have seen, researchers often admit candidly the limitations of the current state of knowledge, most particularly the paucity of knowledge about biological bases of addiction to drugs other than alcohol.

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