Now that we kind of have an idea what Classical conditioning is, let’s move on to Addiction. Addiction is defined simply as a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as drugs) or do something like gambling (Addiction, 2016). Addiction can be crippling and can control all aspects of your life to the point of not being able to function as a productive member of society. Addicts can have a life long struggle, even once sober, or clean, from the addiction.
Carey, Carrera, and Damaintopoulos (2014) state in their article that Pavlovian conditioning of drug effects is generally acknowledged to be a critical factor in the development and persistence of drug addiction. In drug conditioning the focus has essentially been on one type of Pavlovian conditioning, namely, delay conditioning in which the CS and drug UCS overlap and are temporally contiguous. In this paper, we will further discuss this theory and others in the relationship of Pavlovian conditioning and add...
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...to use classical conditioning in treating addiction. For Alcohol Addiction, a drug called Antabuse is used to make the Addict feel nausea when they consume alcohol to create a negative association with alcohol use. Research shows that aversion therapy alone is not enough to deal with withdraw but does help with relapse. More effect form of aversion therapy is in the beginning stages of research, where it is paired with positive reinforcement, it seems to have some promising results.
It is obvious that Pavlovian conditioning is prevalent in Addiction. It is the foundation of addiction. It can be used in the treatment of addiction. I feel that in the future we will still use Pavlovian conditioning to further find ways to help adequately treat addition. One thing is certain is that we need to find a way to make addiction treatment more accessible for those who need it.
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