Behavioral Environmental Modification

Although medication development for the treatment of drug addiction has been highlighted in this chapter, a brief discussion of the importance and role of behavioral therapy must be included for completeness. Indeed, drug addiction results from human behavior gone awry, and in most cases addicts who seek recovery from their addiction are more successful if they also engage in some form of behavioral/environmental modification. The literature is vast on the topic of conditioned behavior and no attempt to further describe it will be made herein. However, as mentioned in the Introduction of this chapter, environmental factors and associations play a large role in relapse, and clinical intervention in the form of therapy and behavioral modification are proving successful.66 Recent investigations have shown that concepts of rewarding and aversive mechanisms can be applied to therapy, which, if available, can further be paired with pharmacotherapy.67 In contingency management, reinforcement, in the form of vouchers for services, is given for drug abstinence, and is withheld when the drug addict fails to remain drug-free. This form of behavioral modification is based on the reinforcement/aversive effects associated with drug taking and drug abstinence. Thus far, high rates of increased cocaine abstinence have been reported using this approach.67 In general, treatment, in whatever form available, is beneficial in reducing substance use, alleviating social, employment, and legal barriers to recovery, and identifying and treating medical and psychiatric problems that can potentiate relapse.66

Drug Addiction

Drug Addiction

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