Theoretical Paper

Psychotherapy for addictive disorders

Author: Steliana Rizeanu
Hyperion University of Bucharest, Psychology Department, Bucharest, Romania

The concept of addiction has been broadened in recent years to include appetitive behaviors judged to be excessive in some sense: excessive drinking, drug-taking, gambling, eating and sexuality. Addiction is a disease in and of itself, characterized by compulsion, loss of control and continued used in spite of adverse consequences (Smith & Seymour, 2001). Addiction diseases account for almost one third of psychiatric hospitals capacity.

Leschner (2001, apud Coombs, 2004) considers that addiction is a brain disease, “a condition caused by persistent changes in brain structure and function”. Smith and Seymour (2001) noted that all addictions, whether chemicals or non-chemicals share three commons characteristics: compulsive use, loss of control and continued used despite adverse consequences.

For treating the persistent co-morbid disorders, besides cognitive-behavioral psychotherapeutics methods, the specialists recommend psycho-pharmacotherapy based on application of antidepressants and mood stabilizers.

Keywords: addictive disorders, psychotherapy, treatment, prevention