Chemeketa Community College

HS101: Chemical Dependency As a Disease

Finding Supporting Evidence

Starting Places

Use a source such as one of those shown below to choose key words that will support an argument in favor of the disease model. Some examples of key words are shown in Tables 2 and 4, below.

Background article on "Brain Chemistry and Addiction" inPicture of magnifying glass
     Encyclopedia of Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment, & RecoveryOnline
Background article on the "Models of Alcoholism & Drug Abuse" in
     Encyclopedia Of Drugs, Alcohol, & Addictive BehaviorR 362.2903 En1
Background article on the "Disease Concept" in
     Encyclopedia of Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment, & RecoveryOnline
Background article on the "Disease Concept" in
     The Gale Encyclopedia of Mental HealthOnline
Information on addictive "Disease Models" in
     Introduction to Addictive BehaviorsR 616.86 T36
"Substance abuse," by Derek Solum, in
     Psychopharmacology Educational Updates (PsychEd Up), 4, (Dec., 2008)Online

Finding Journal Articles in Gale Academic OneFile

To access Gale databases, use the library's Database Page. If using databases from off campus, you will need your My Chemeketa user name and password. Academic OneFile is a good database to begin with.

You will have to combine multiple search terms to find articles on this topic. You will need to combine terms together in one of three strategies:

  1. Looking for articles that discuss genetic aspects of addictions, or,
  2. Looking for articles that discuss physiological changes in the brain due to substance abuse, or,
  3. Looking for articles that actually discuss the disease model.

The Advanced Search screen makes it easy to combine multiple terms. Important: Be sure to check off the limit for "peer-reviewed publications" on the search page.
picture of Gale Advanced Search Screen with Addiction on one search line and Pathophysiology on the next search line

Tip: When using keywords, try truncating: theor* finds theory, theories, theoretical, etc. (* is the truncation character for Gale).

1. The Straight Key Word Search

Table 1: Key word combination examples for physiological changes: mix & match as pictured above
Key word (examples)AND    Key word (examples)
nucleus accumbensmethamphetamine, cocaine, etc.
mesolimbic dopamin*alcohol*
ventral tegmentaldrug abuse
FosBsubstance abuse
incentive sensitization chemical dependency

Table 2: Key word combination examples for disease model: mix & match as pictured above
Key wordAND    Key word
alcoholismdisease model*
drug abusedisease concept*
substance abusedisease theor*
addictiondisease [use alone only with addiction]
disease model [use alone]etiology
narcotics, etc.medical model

2. Searches combining subject headings with key words:

Click the Subject Guide Search button near the top of the Gale screen to look for subject headings. Click the Advanced Search Screen button to enter the headings you've found in combinations.
picture of Gale Advanced Search screen
Use the pull-down menu on the advanced search screen to change the search from "default fields" to "SU Subject."

Table 3: Subjects with key words
SubjectLimit by entering a word or words
Hippocampus (Brain), Limbic System, etc.alcohol*
Dopamine, Serotonin, etc.cocaine, heroin, etc.

Table 4: Subjects with key words
SubjectLimit by entering a word or words
Narcotic Abuseconcept* and disease
Drug Abusemodel* and disease
Substance Abusetheor* and disease

Interpreting Results

When using For information on interpreting results in Academic Onefile, see Gale Periodical Databases. Notice that there is a link in the Gale result list that lets you check other databases: the ScienceDirect database has the full text of many addiction, neurobiology, and pharmacology journals that are indexed in Academic Onefile. For more on ScienceDirect, see below.

Other Periodical Databases

picture of ScienceDirect logoScienceDirect offers access to the full text of nearly 1,000 journals, relating to life sciences and health sciences, broadly interpreted, including environmental science,agriculture, genetics, and more. Searchable by keyword, author, title, or journal. Journals available in the collection are shown with a green icon (picture of subscribed icon), indicating full text.
picture of journal coverThe Project Cork Catalog and IDA (Index to Drugs and Alcohol) both index journal articles relating to substance abuse and chemical dependency. These and others can be found on the library's Supplementary Database page:

Finding books

To find books, check the book catalog under such subject headings as the ones listed in the Appendix below. You can also try a Keyword search.

For further help, ask for assistance at the Reference Desk.

Appendix: Terms for chemical dependency

The following subject terms are arranged with more specific terms listed under more general terms. The library catalog uses Drug Abuse for articles on abuse of drugs in the broad sense; articles on abuse of prescription drugs are entered under Medication Abuse.

  SUBSTANCE abuse     
      AEROSOL sniffing      
      BETEL chewing      
      CAFFEINE habit      
      DRUG abuse
          AMPHETAMINE abuse      
          INTRAVENOUS drug abuse      
          MARIJUANA abuse      
          MEDICATION abuse      
          NARCOTIC habit
              COCAINE habit      
              HEROIN habit      
              MORPHINE habit      
              NARCOTICS dealers      
              OPIUM habit 
              PHENCYCLIDINE abuse 
      DUAL diagnosis      
      SOLVENT abuse      
      TOBACCO habit 

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