Biological interventions

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  • Created by: emily
  • Created on: 03-03-14 18:18
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  • Biological interventions for addiction
    • Nicotine replacement therapy
      • addictive behaviour produces withdrawal symptoms when stopped
        • may relapse
      • nicotine gum, patches and nasal sprays MIMIC effects of nicotine from tobacco
        • NRT doesn't remove nicotine addiction - other harmful products are removed though
          • NRT healthier option than smoking - n carbon monoxide, tar, acetone, benzene
            • nicotine stimulates the DOPAMINE receptors in the brain - releases dopamine
              • also desensitise dopamine receptors in the brain
                • means that if the person lapses, the cigarette will seem less satisfying
                  • it's believed that NRT doubles the success rate of quitting
      • HOWEVER
        • underlying reasons for addiction are ignored
          • addict may return to their addictive behaviour
            • combination of counselling and drug intervention best
              • BECKHAM ET EL
                • showed benefits of using quitline counselling services a d NRT
                  • 24 military veterans, eleven (46%) quit by agreed quit date
                    • nine abstaining 2 months later
    • Methadone replacement therapy
      • orally administered synthetic drug - used for heroin addiction
        • mimics the effect of heroin by releasing dopamine into the synapse
          • gives feeling of euphoria, but less addictive
            • prevents withdrawal symptoms and reduces cravings
              • over time dose is reduced until it's no longer needed
        • success of treatment
          • methadone effective in stablising addictive behaviour in a safe and effective way
          • WARREN ET AL
            • assessed as a treatments for heroin addiction among 900 prisoners
              • relapse a lot less (about 15 days a year) when using methadone than those not recieving (about 100 days a year)
                • however some drug addicts become reliant on methadone- substituting one addiction for another
                  • responsible for deaths of over 300 people in the UK in 2007
        • General - deterministic
          • biological interventions assume addiction is a disease involving biological changes in the brain
            • although there's evidence to suggest there are biological changes, drug therapy may be dis empowering for the patient
              • abstinence will be attributed to the replacement therapy and not as a personal achievement
                • takes away the idea that they have free will to actually change their habits without help of drugs


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