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Thinking outside the brain: Testing predictors of drug addiction anticipated by dislocation theory

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.Sc.
Date created
Considerable financial, technological, and human resources are currently spent on the expansion of a brain-disease model of drug addiction in humans. This model conceptualizes addiction as a disease arising from the combined effects of drug interactions with susceptible brain physiology. Psychosocial models of addiction provide an important complement to brain-disease models by addressing social, cultural, and environmental determinants of addiction. The present work describes an emergent, systematized model known as the dislocation theory of addiction, and draws on data from the Vancouver At Home trial on homelessness and mental illness to test a hypothesized relationship between psychosocial integration and drug addiction. Results from multivariate logistic regression analysis indicate that both included dimensions of psychosocial integration (physical and psychological) remain associated with addiction to drugs other than alcohol and cannabis after controlling for a variety of lifestyle and demographic factors. Increased physical integration scores were found to predict reduced odds of daily drug use, while increased psychological integration scores predicted increased odds. Findings are reconciled with existing dislocation theory literature and further opportunities for evaluating the dislocation theory are discussed.
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Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Somers, Julian
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