BIOL 1010 Lecture Notes - Family Therapy, Harm Reduction, Covert Conditioning

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30 Jan 2013
Conditioning theory of tolerance: underscores the need to jointly consider biological
process and environmental stimuli that may be involved in the acquisition and
maintenance of addictive behaviours
Feedforward mechanisms: defined as anticipatory regulatory responses made in
anticipation of a drug. It reflect the fact that was learnt to anticipate drug effects
before they actually occur
A study found that some people have a gene experience that has less reinforcement
from nicotine and makes it less likely that they will be addicted and easily can quit
Therapy for Alcohol Abuse and Dependence
Admitting the Problem
Any deny that they have a problem
Enabling the drinker to take the first step to betterment is called contemplation stage
and it can be achieved though questions that get at the issue somewhat indirectly
Traditional Hospital Treatment
Detoxification : the withdrawal from alcohol, can be difficult both physically and
psychologically and usually takes about 1 month
Tranquilizers are sometimes given to ease anxiety and general discomfort of
To help get through withdrawal, the alcohol abuser also needs carbohydrate
solutions, B vitamins and sometimes anticonvulsants
Inpatient approach is probably best for people with few sources and social support
who are living in environment that encourage the alcohol abuse
Biological Treatments
Some problem drinkers who are in treatment, inpatient or outpatient take disulfiram
or Antabuse, a drug that discourages drinking by causing violent vomiting if alcohol
is ingested (some studies showed no benefit)
Biological treatments are best viewed as adjunctive; that is they may offer some
benefit when combined with a psychological intervention
Naltrexone, serotonin agonist buspirone, clonidine (reduce withdrawal effects)
Use of drugs to treat alcohol-abusing patients is risky because liver function is often
impaired in the patient and metabolism of the drug can adversely affect the liver
Alcoholics Anonymous
Largest most widely known self-help group in the world
Runs regular and frequent meeting at which newcomers rise to announce that they
are alcoholics, and older, sober member give testimonials, relating the stories of their
problem drinking and indicating how they lives are better now
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