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Interventions to restrict addictive behaviour
Biological interventions
Agonistic drugs: Site specific drugs triggering cellular activity. Many drugs act on dopamine
levels to produce high dopamine agnostics. Eg disulfiram reduces cocaine ability by reducing
the dopamine rewards are often used to create lessening withdrawal symptoms. Methadone
is also given to opiate addicts in outpatient's settings. They prevent withdrawal symptoms
block the effect of the illict opiate use and decreasing cravings. Addicts using methadone can
engage more readily in counselling and behavioural interventions essential to the recovery
and rehabilitation. These act as a less harmful replacement for the dependent drug, resulting
in fewer side effects and allowing gradual and controlled withdrawal from the substance.
Ideally they should be accompanied by counselling and rehabilitation.
Antagonist: These block the effects of the target drug and prevent them from having the
desired effect. They are having the opposite effect from the neurotransmitter. They effect
the positive neurotransmitters such as GABA. For example in order to reduce the addiction
to heroin is to very quickly detox using large doses of example naloxone. This reduces
withdrawal symptoms quickly. Relapse is common after simply detox if they haven't been
followed up by counselling or.
Example: naltrexone for the treatment of opiate addictions
Psychological interventions
Interventions based on classical conditioning: Counter conditioning is carried out as if
someone can learn how to be addicted to the substance then they can learn how to be no
longer addicted. In aversion therapy an undesired response replaces the pleasure that is
associated with the drug. For example the consumption of alcohol and drugs are no longer
associated with the feeling of being high and clam they are now associated with the feeling
of nausea and being sick. But in order for this not to be associated with all types of drink
through tout the process soft drinks are also consumed. They are regularly also performed
with electric shocks. Examples include VIVO desen, relaxation therapy, SD. These all focus on
relapse triggers and cue exposure.
Covert desensitisation is a variant of aversion therapy. This is where the averse stimulus is
imagined alongside the dependency behaviour so that the two can become associated. Not
indulging in the dependency behaviour is also associated with pleasant situations.
Interventions based on Operant conditioning: Based on the belief that environmental
contingencies of reinforcement and punishment play a role in discouraging behaviour.
Patients are taught to reinforce behaviours consistent with avoiding the behaviour like
avoiding environmental situations that may include their addictive substance like a casino or
a bar. They are then taught positive things as a method of reward. For Contingency

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Behavioural self-control training is also based on operant conditioning which includes
Stimulus control- patients narrow the times they are allowed to give in to their
additive behaviour such as drinking just on special occasions.
Modification of the limit of which the behaviour can be undertaken- taking
one cigarette on that day that you have allowed yourself to.
Reinforcing abstinence- rewarding oneself a different kind of treat that is just as
pleasurable for resisting the behaviour.
Biological interventions
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Moore et al 2009 assesed the effectiveness of a range of nicotine replacement
therapies finding them effective intervention therapy in achieving sustained
abstinence for smokers who cannot and will not attempt immediate detox.
Fuller 1988 found that disiulfiram did not provide specific benefits in addressing
alcohol dependency with an 80% drop out rate.
^^Gelder et al 1999 said that the side effects caused confusion over the
effectiveness of the drug.…read more


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