Perspectives on problematic substance use have evolved over time. What was once seen as a purely moral issue, involving ‘weak will’ or only occurring with individuals who are ‘degenerates’ is now understood as a complex biopsychosocialspiritual phenomenon that requires multiple systems of care to manage. This has brought a more humane and compassionate attitude to those suffering from problematic use and has increased the range of options available for treatment and recovery.
View the video below to explore what some different theoretical models include:
- From the late 1970s to the early 1980s, Dr. Bruce Alexander from Simon Fraser University (SFU) developed experiments to study addiction in rats. His results indicated that problematic use was a social phenomenon since rats in isolation tended to use more of the morphine laced water than rats housed in socially rich environments. The following comic is a graphic representation of this study and his work: Comic of the Rat Park experiment
- A Problematic Substance user discusses fentanyl: