In the more than 400-page report “Facing Addiction in America,” released this month, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy recommends evidence-based early interventions for young people, expanding treatment programs that have been proven to work and investing in substance use prevention and treatment research. Murthy also emphasizes the need for a cultural change surrounding the disease of addiction.
Every theory we have about what causes addiction is imperfect.
Several addiction theories have significant evidence supporting them — but, as with the disease model, none of them can be universally applied to every addict. That doesn’t necessarily undermine their validity, though. Addiction is perhaps best understood as many different pieces of a puzzle: The nature of those pieces will differ from person to person, and the picture they form will be as unique as the individual herself.