IB Phychology Students Discuss Addiction

Our IB Psychology students have been studying health, focusing on stress and addictions. In Year 2 of their course, they bring together their learning of different approaches from Year 1 into specific contexts. That means that they examine something like addictive behaviors by considering biological factors (e.g., brain structure, neurotransmission), cognitive factors (e.g., associations, self-efficacy) and sociocultural factors (e.g., social support networks, cultural norms).

On Friday morning, they were fortunate to hear first-hand accounts from one of our counselors who worked in substance abuse counseling before he came to Bulgaria. Kevin Phair also spoke candidly about his own experiences, allowing our students to fully understand the complexity of addiction, not only in its development, but also in how treatment and recovery work.

Such stories are, in their very nature, emotional ones, yet vital in order for us to destigmatize some of the problematic perceptions that society has. Kevin's talk was timed as the students were considering the reframing of addiction as a disease, helping them with a deeper comprehension of the importance of doing so. Approaching such 'topics' as real-world health problems ensures their development as global citizens who can pave the way for more open and supportive systems.

The class sincerely thanks Kevin for his time, and commends him for all that he has done.