Outline and Evaluate One Biological Explanation of Addiction

350 Words2 Pages
There are many sectors regarding the biological maintenance of smoking, one being the ‘Nicotine regulation model’. According to the biochemistry of smoking addiction, the reason for an individual to continue smoking is due to the highly addictive substance, nicotine. Shachter argues that a smoker continues to smoke in order to maintain the nicotine levels in their body as this helps to avoid negative withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, shakes and insomnia. Many studies have been found to support this model for instance Schachter found that smokers who smoked low level of nicotine tend to smoke 25% more cigarettes than those who smoked high level of nicotine. This shows support as a high optimum level of nicotine is needed in order to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms. However one weakness surrounding this area is the issue of reductionism; the model is largely focused on the biological basis of addiction, ignoring social and environmental factors. Another weakness may be deterministic as individuals may have little or no control over their addictive behavior due to biology because some people may be genetically predisposed to their addictive behavior and therefore unable to regulate their behavior. There is also a research on biochemistry of the maintenance of smoking. Research has found that as nicotine increases dopamine release, it tends to provide a pleasurable and rewarding feeling that leads to maintenance. Corigall and Cohen support this through their study of mice where they self-administered themselves with nicotine in the rewarding system of their brain. This suggests that nicotine addiction is maintained due to the rewarding effects produced by dopamine release. This study is only carried on mice and therefore may be regarded as ‘animal bias’ which cannot be generalized to humans as animals differentiate to humans. Due to the basis of animal
Open Document