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Introduction to Addictive Behaviors

Fifth Edition

Dennis L. Thombs and Cynthia J. Osborn

Hardcovere-bookprint + e-book
May 15, 2019
ISBN 9781462539222
Price: $62.00
442 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
April 5, 2019
PDF and Accessible ePub ?
Price: $62.00
442 Pages
print + e-book
Hardcover + e-Book (PDF and Accessible ePub) ?
Price: $124.00 $74.40
442 Pages
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Now revised and updated, this widely used text comprehensively reviews theories of addiction to give students and professionals a multidisciplinary foundation for clinical practice. It explores the causes and mechanisms of substance and behavioral addictions, as well as implications for helping people recover. Providing a science-based perspective, the text emphasizes the importance of using treatment and prevention strategies that are grounded in evidence. Thoroughly updated chapters address disease models; public health approaches; understanding and treating comorbidity; psychoanalytic, behavioral, cognitive, and family systems models; sociocultural approaches; behavioral addiction; and motivational models. Student-friendly features include end-of-chapter summaries and review questions.

New to This Edition

“Thombs and Osborn, both accomplished researchers and clinicians in addictions studies, found the right blend to appeal to all levels in this intellectual marketplace. With their systematic prose and pedagogical aids for enhancing readability—end-of-chapter summaries and review questions for each chapter—the authors help students master the addictions literature. The book appears to have been thoroughly updated since the last edition, with the latest statistics covering the sharply spiraling rises of drug overdose deaths and newly emerging treatment techniques….Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers.”

Choice Reviews

“The book is very readable and contains numerous tables and figures which help clarify the text….This excellent book describes the different facets of addiction, exploring theory, prevention, and intervention issues. Professionals and students alike will be pleased with this book. *****!”

Doody's Review Service

“The text is well written, lucid, economical in style....Good value for the money.”

Journal of Substance Use (on the second edition)

“This book is indeed an introduction—but it also offers much more. Every practitioner and student who works or plans to work with individuals with addiction will benefit from the fifth edition's wealth of up-to-date knowledge. I am impressed by the attention to current research influencing the field, as well as the illustrative case examples that ground the reader in the experience of addicted individuals. This text does not shy away from the important questions and controversies about disease models, causes of addiction, and types of public health and treatment approaches. If you and your students want diverse, multidimensional perspectives on addiction, presented synergistically, this is the text you should choose.”

—Carlo C. DiClemente, PhD, ABPP, Department of Psychology (Emeritus), University of Maryland, Baltimore County

“This book is useful to a wide range of clinicians working in substance abuse treatment. It introduces students and entry-level practitioners to addictive behaviors on multiple levels—theoretical models, research findings, and practical clinical interventions. More experienced practitioners will find it an excellent update and review. By providing multiple perspectives, the book gives a good foundation for individualizing treatment.”

—Joan E. Zweben, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco; staff psychologist, San Francisco VA Medical Center

“This is one of the best books I have read that integrates theory, research, and practice in addictions. The highly accessible fifth edition includes outstanding coverage of the genetics of addictive behaviors, as well as other updates. What I love about this book is that Thombs and Osborn offer the reader a wide variety of strategies for addressing substance use problems, providing the flexibility needed to meet the needs of different groups of clients. I will use this text in my master’s-level social work courses; it is a great resource for students as they develop as clinicians and begin to practice in diverse settings.”

—Mary Marden Velasquez, PhD, Director, Health Behavior Research and Training Institute, School of Social Work, The University of Texas at Austin

“I have used successive editions of this text in my advanced undergraduate seminar on addictions for almost 20 years. The fifth edition does an excellent job of covering new findings and treatment methods while still preserving much of the classic literature. Without question, this text offers the most comprehensive and objective coverage of this very complex subject. In an age of misinformation and 'alternative facts,' Thombs and Osborn remain committed to rigorous science and how it can be translated into effective treatment and prevention. They provide balanced, unbiased coverage of many different ways of understanding addiction, giving a fair hearing to every point of view.”

—Richard Siegel, PhD, Department of Psychology (Emeritus), University of Massachusetts Lowell

“I have used prior editions of this book as the main text in my undergraduate Research on Addictive Behaviors class for years. The authors provide a readable and comprehensive review of theories of addiction and current issues in the field. The fifth edition includes a fully revised chapter on social and cultural foundations of addiction, with approachable discussions of the opioid crisis, stigma, and the evolving addiction treatment industry.”

—Kathleen M. Palm Reed, PhD, Department of Psychology, Clark University

Table of Contents

1. Conceptualization of Addictive Behavior and the Need for Informed Practice sample

2. The Disease Models

3. Public Health and Prevention Approaches

4. Understanding the Co-Occurrence of Substance Use and Psychiatric Conditions

5. Psychoanalytic Formulations

6. Conditioning Models and Approaches to Contingency Management

7. Cognitive Models

8. The Family System

9. Social and Cultural Foundations

10. The Controversial Science of Behavioral Addiction

11. Promoting Motivation and Autonomy for Personal Change

12. Linking Theory, Evidence, and Practice

About the Authors

Dennis L. Thombs, PhD, FAAHB, is Professor and Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth. The focus of his scholarship is addictive behavior, with special interests in the epistemology of addiction, and in alcohol and drug use during the period of emerging adulthood. In recent years, his research has focused on analyzing drinking practices and their consequences in natural settings. Dr. Thombs is Managing Coeditor of the American Journal of Health Behavior. He is past President and Fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior.

Cynthia J. Osborn, PhD, LPCC-S, LICDC, is Professor of Counselor Education and Supervision at Kent State University. Her clinical background is in treatment of adults with co-occurring disorders (substance use disorders and mental illness). Her teaching, supervision, and scholarship focus on addictions counseling, particularly evidence-based practices such as motivational interviewing. She is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers and has extensive experience in the clinical supervision of counselors-in-training and professional counselors.


Students in clinical psychology, counseling, social work, and nursing; beginning substance abuse counselors; practicing mental health professionals without extensive training in addictions.

Course Use

Serves as a text in advanced undergraduate- and graduate-level courses such as Addiction Treatment/Counseling, Substance Abuse and Addiction, Psychology of Addiction, Social Work Practice with Addictions/Substance Abuse, and Addictive Behavior.
Previous editions published by Guilford:

Fourth Edition, © 2013
ISBN: 9781462510689

Third Edition, © 2006
ISBN: 9781593852788

Second Edition, © 1999
ISBN: 9781572304116

First Edition, © 1994
ISBN: 9780898623369
New to this edition: