Models of addiction


A better understanding of the complex science of ‘addiction’ can improve responses to drug problems. This report contains a critical review of existing addiction theories and explores how these can be organised into an overarching structure to inform how we assess, prevent and treat addictive behaviours. This model is not limited to illicit drugs, but can also be applied to alcohol, tobacco and even non-pharmacological addictions, such as gambling or compulsive use of the Internet. Models of addiction delivers the message that understanding the biological basis of addiction, along with the broader social and psychological aspects of addictive behaviour, can lead to successful prevention and treatment responses.

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Table of contents

  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgements
  • Executive summary
  • Chapter 1: Background, scope and aims
  • Chapter 2: Defining addiction
  • Chapter 3: Summarising theories and
    models of addiction — methods
  • Chapter 4: Modelling in the individual
  • Chapter 5: Modelling populations
  • Chapter 6: Towards a comprehensive
    theory of addiction
  • Chapter 7: Implications of theory for
    assessment and measurement of
    addiction and related constructs
  • Chapter 8: Implications of the
    comprehensive theory for intervention
  • Chapter 9: Implications for policy and
  • References


  • Czech (translated by the Czech national focal point)