Public Health Addiction
by
Mark Griffiths, Steve Sussman, Nadra Lisha, Gillian Smith, Adam Leventhal
  • LAST REVIEWED: 14 October 2016
  • LAST MODIFIED: 23 February 2011
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756797-0002

Introduction

Conceptualizing addiction has been a matter of intense debate for decades. For many, addiction theory has applied only to alcohol, tobacco, or drug ingestion, with most definitions concentrated on these substances. Despite such focus, there is increasing empirical evidence to illustrate that wider behaviors are potentially addictive, such as gambling, overeating, sex, love, exercise, video game and pinball playing, Internet use, buying and shopping, and work (see Sussman, et al. 2010 in Conceptual and Theoretical Issues). Such diversity has led to new, broader definitions of what constitutes addictive behavior. One group defines addictive behavior as a repetitive pattern of behavior that increases the risk of medical, personal, or social problems, often experienced subjectively as involving a loss of behavioral control over the addiction and high relapse rates when one tries to stop. Those scholars mention that addictive behaviors typically provide short-term gratification with long-term costs. This bibliography does not focus on substance abuse prevention but rather focuses exclusively on addictions.

Reference Works

Reference sources for the addiction field tend to be divided between academic and practitioner references, although many works integrate the two. A comprehensive up-to-date collection that provides an overview of addictive behavior is the four volumes Browne-Miller 2009a, Browne-Miller 2009b, Brown-Miller 2009c, and Browne-Miller 2009d. This set brings together experts in the addiction studies field to review cutting-edge topics in the areas of theory, research, intervention, treatment, and policy.

  • Browne-Miller, Angela, ed. 2009a. The Praeger international collection on addictions. Vol. 1, Faces of addiction, then and now. Westport, CT: Praeger.

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    Browne-Miller overviews a wide range of general addiction issues, including addiction as a public health issue, cross-cultural issues, race and ethnicity issues, and ethical issues. The volume also examines addiction from the perspectives of different countries around the world, including those in North America and Europe.

  • Browne-Miller, Angela, ed. 2009b. The Praeger international collection on addictions. Vol. 2, Psychobiological profiles. Westport, CT: Praeger.

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    Browne-Miller provides an overview of issues concerning the psychobiology of addiction, including the neurobiological, pharmacological, and cognitive components of addiction; brain functioning; opioid receptor desensitization; schizophrenia; and substance misuse.

  • Browne-Miller, Angela, ed. 2009c. The Praeger international collection on addictions. Vol. 3, Characteristics and treatment perspectives. Westport, CT: Praeger.

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    Browne-Miller covers a wide range of background issues relating to addiction treatment, such as access and screening, the role of social support, and the role of religiosity. The volume also collates information on addiction treatments, including dual diagnosis treatment programs, psychotherapeutic programs, and Minnesota Model (twelve-step) programs, and innovative interventions (e.g., telephone-based interventions).

  • Browne-Miller, Angela, ed. 2009d. The Praeger international collection on addictions. Vol. 4, Behavioral addictions from concept to compulsion. Westport, CT: Praeger.

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    This is one of the few books that comprehensively overview a wide range of behavioral addictions, including addictions to work, television, buying, eating, pornography, gambling (in adults and youths), and online gaming, from a wide range of perspectives (e.g., social, biological).

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