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HS101 - Chemical Dependency as a Disease: How to Find Articles

How to search for materials to support the contention that addiction is a disease

The strategies below will help you to find articles.

 bullet indicating tipTip: For terms to use in searching, see the Finding Search Terms tab.

Search Strategies

Use the databases on this page to look for articles. You may need to try multiple search strategies.

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 or inherited 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 last strategy is not recommended, because many articles discussing the disease model don't agree that it is valid.  There is likely to be difficulty in finding recent-enough articles supporting this model.

Tip: You may find more articles using terms for specific substance addictions than for addiction in general.

Subject Search in Academic OneFile or Medline

Use the subject headings provided by the database. For information on how to perform a subject heading search, please see the "Subject Searching in Databases" tab. This approach works well for Strategy 1, above.

You can also combine subject headings that are used by the database with key words to help you find articles.

Examples of subjects with key words: Combine as pictured below
Subject Limit by entering a word or words
Brain abuse
Hippocampus (Brain), Limbic System, etc. alcohol*
Neurotransmitters narcotics
Dopamine, Serotonin, etc. cocaine, heroin, etc.
Opioids receptors

The multiple search spaces in Academic OneFile's Advanced Search page make it easy to combine terms:

picture of advanced search page with search for brain (subject) and heroin (keyword)

Keyword Combinations in Any Database

Take keywords you identified from Getting Started and combine them with "AND."

picture of academic onefile advanced search screen showing search for fosb and alcoholism

Use Databases to Find Articles

Use Google Scholar

Use the Google Scholar search space below to search for articles on addiction as a disease.  For full information on how to use Google Scholar, see our guide to Using Google Scholar.

Journals Search

Use this search to look for journals in a subject area. For articles in journals use a journal database.

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