, West has written an important book about addiction. It is written by a researcher who knows the addiction area very well. Throughout the book the reader is exposed to a vast number of useful observations, in particular related to smoking cessation, which is his main research area. The review and evaluation of existing theories...from rational choice theories to neurobiological theories is amazing in terms of pinpointing their essence and shortcomings. The theoretical aims are timely, refreshing, ambitious and above all challenging. It opens up a new way of looking at addiction and has the potential to move the field of addiction a considerable leap forward.
Thus we wholeheartedly would like to recommend the book for students as well as scholars. Read and learn!'Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, Vol 24, 2007
‘The book provides a comprehensive review of existing theories - over 30 in all - and this synthesis of theories constitutes an important contribution in and of itself...West is to be commended for his synthesis of addiction theories that span neurobiology, psychology and social science and for his insights into what remains unexplained.’
Addiction, Vol 101, Iss 7.
‘Robert West’s erudite, lucidly written Theory of Addiction takes the reader on an engaging tour of almost every significant conceptual system in the field … West adroitly finds gold amongst the lead, adds some previous gems of his own, and presents the field with a real treasure: an integrated, useful, thought-provoking and testable theory of addition.’
Keith Humphreys, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine
‘This book is a tour de force, constructing step by step a wide-ranging theory of addiction … After summarising and assessing more than 30 previous theories, West draws on elements from economics, sociology, pharmacology and biology, along with a core of material from psychology, to put together a broad and testable theory of how people move into and out of addiction, and how social forces can affect this … The book will serve as a point of reference for years to come.’
Robin Room, Professor and Director, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD), Stockholm University
‘This volume is a welcome attempt at a synthesis of the plethora of theories and models that abound in the field of addiction.’
Wayne Hall, Professorial Research Fellow and Director, Office of Public Policy and Ethics, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland, Australia
From the Back Cover
An understanding of addiction theory is vital to understanding addiction itself. Theory of Addiction
takes theory development from a simple ‘rational addiction model’, adding elements such as compulsion, self-control and habit, to explain the ‘big observations’ in the field. As well as explaining and evaluating the arguments of each of the prevailing schools of thought, the book develops a new, synthetic theory of addiction that brings together the diverse elements of current models.
Designed to enable students, practitioners and researchers to establish a starting point in the labyrinthine world of addiction theory, Theory of Addiction supports abstract thinking with concrete and realistic scenarios, underlining the centrality of theoretical understanding to working with addiction.
Summaries and examples are clearly presented for ease of reference, key theories are evaluated. Theory of Addiction examines the nature of addiction in all its complexity and across demographic levels, producing a new approach to addiction, providing an appraisal of the existing theories, and providing the reader with the critical apparatus to develop his or her own hypothesis.