Preventing Addictive Behaviour

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  • Created by: Shelley
  • Created on: 13-05-13 14:26

To increase effectiveness, prevention models must:

  • Increase awareness of addiction and its consequences.
  • Enhance knowledge about addiction and its consequences.
  • Change attitudes towards addiction and adopt a more balanced view.
  • Teach effective coping and adaptive skills
  • Correct inappropriate cognitions related to addictions.

Many should be aimed at adolescents as a lot of addicts report their first experiences with their addictive behaviour in youth (Griffiths 1995).

Biological Interventions

Pharmacological interventions consist of addicts being given drugs to help overcome their addictions. These are largely used for chemical addictions but are increasingly used for behavioural addictions. Some drugs produce an unpleasant reaction when used in combination with the drug of dependence, thus replacing the positive effects with a negative reaction.

Aversive agent treatment

Only available treatment of this is disulfiram (Antabuse) which produces nausea and vomiting when combined with alcohol. 

Agonist maintenance treatment

Usually given to opiate addicts in outpatient settings. Long-acting synthetic opiates (methadone) are given orally to prevent withdrawal symptoms, block the effects of illicit opiate use and decrease cravings. Addicts using methadone can engage more readily in counselling and other behavioural interventions essential to recovery and rehabilitation.

Narcotic antagonist treatment

Usually given to opiate addicts in outpatient settings, although initiation often begins after detoxification in a residual setting. Detoxification provides interventions to ensure that the physical withdrawal…


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