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Peele (1985, p. 2) contends that substance addiction cannot be explained adequately through "exclusively biological concepts." This position holds that substance addiction, as is true of other addictive behaviors, "is subject to social and cognitive influences" (p. 2). Peele (p. 2) stated that addiction "represents a continuum of feeling and behavior more than it does a distinct disease state." Addiction within this context is the manifestation of "an habitual style of coping, albeit one that the individual is capable of modifying with changing psychological and life circumstances" (p. 2). According to Peele's (p. 2) concept of addiction, even the trauma of drug withdrawal "is exclusively determined by physiology," but is, rather, associated with "a person's expectations, values, and self-concept, as well as the person's sense of alternative opportunities for gratification." Withdrawal symptoms, according to Peele (p. 19) are "actually a complex self-labeling process that requires users to detect adjustments taking place in their bodies, to note the process as problematic, and to express their discomfort and translate it into a desire for more drugs." The degree of suffering in the withdrawal process, according to Peele (pp. 19-20), is a function of the combined effects of the amount of a drug typically used by an individual, "setting and social milieu, expectation and cultural attitudes, personality and self-image, and, especially, lifestyle and available alternative opportunities."

Some of the evidence cited by Peele (p. 9) in support of his concept of addition involves the changes in heroin use habits by American soldiers returning from the Viet Nam War. This voluntary behavior change, according to Peele (p. 9) demonstrated conclusively that a moderate use of narcotics is possible without a risk of addiction. This hypothesis is extended to contend that withdrawal symptoms will not be experienced in the instances of such v...

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PEELE'S CONCEPT OF ADDICTION. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:20, August 07, 2020, from