BIOLOGICAL INTERVENTIONS

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  • BIOLOGICAL INTERVENTIONS
    • NICOTINE REPLACEMENT THEORY (NRT)
      • Inevitable that a person will get withdrawal symptoms when abstaining from a previously addictive behaviour, therefore many relapse
        • Important part of any treatment programme to manage these symptoms.
      • Nicotine medications mimic/ replace the effects of nicotine derived from tobacco.
      • NRT doesn't remove the nicotine addiction but the other harmful chemicals in a cigarette are no longer ingested.
        • Therefore its a healthier alternative to smoking
      • These products relieve withdrawal symptoms when a person stops smoking tobacco because they administer nicotine, which stimulates the nicotine receptors in the brain resulting in a release of dopamine.
        • They also seem to desensitise the nicotine receptors within the brain
        • This means if a person lapses and smokes a cigarette whilst on NRT then the cigarette appears less satisfying.
      • Believed that NRT doubles the success rate of quitting.
      • AO2- CONTRADICTORY RESEARCH
        • Although the symptoms of physical dependency are treated, the underlying reasons to their addictive behaviour are ignored. As a result the addict may return to their addictive behaviour when the NRT is taken away.
        • BECKHAM ET AL demonstrated the benefits of a combination of quit line counselling services and NRT. In a study of 24 US military veterans, 11 quit by their agreed 'quit date', with 9 still abstaining 9 months later.
          • Much greater success rate than patches alone, suggesting a combo of both psychological and biological is best.
    • METHADONE REPLACEMTNT THERAPY (MRT)
      • Meth is an orally administered synthetic drug widely used in the treatment of heroin addiction
      • Meth mimics the effects of heroin, by allowing the release of dopamine into the synapse. This gives feelings of euphoria, but to a lesser degree, making it less addictive
      • It prevents withdrawal symptoms, blocks the effects of future heroin use and decreases cravings.
      • Over time the dose is slowly reduced until the addict no longer needs either meth or heroin.
      • The value of the substitute therapies lies in the opportunity it provides for addicts to stabilise their health and functioning and reduce their exposure to risky behaviours.
      • AO2- SUCCESS OF MRT. WAREN ET AL assessed the effectiveness of MRT for heroin addiction among 900 prisoners. Inmates who recieved Meth used Heroin a lot less compared to inmates not receiving meth.
        • However, one problem with meth is some drug addicts can become as reliant on meth as they were on heroin, thereby substituting one addiction for the other.
        • Use of meth is controversial,with stats showing that meth was responsible for the deaths of over 300 people in the UK in 2007.
      • AO2- GENERAL/ DETERMINISTIC. Bio interventions assume addiction is a disease involving bio changes in the brain and are therefore deterministic.Although there are chemical changes in the brain, drug therapy might be disempowering for the patient, as abstinence will be attributed to the therapy and not seen as a personal achievement.
        • This takes the responsibility away from the person and also takes away the idea that they have free will to actually change their addictive behaviour without the help of drugs.

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