Aqa Psya3 Interventions for Addiction Notes

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Interventions for addiction

(Key:
- = negative criticism/limitations
+ = positive criticism/support

Biological interventions
Methadone for heroin: Heroin addicts are given Methadone, which gives similar effects but is less addictive. Their dose is slowly increased to build up tolerance, then slowly decreased to wean the addict of it until the addict need neither substance. - Some people just switch from being heroin addicts to Meth addicts - Statistics show more than 300 methadone related deaths in the UK in 2007 - Methadone consumption is often unsupervised, which has created a black market, where addicts can sell their doses for only £2 Potential drug treatments for gambling: not approved in the UK yet, but there is evidence that SSRI’s (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors which increase serotonin= good mood) or Naltrexone (a dopamine receptor antagonist, which reduces the reward of gambling by reducing dopamine) may be effective. + Hollander found that gamblers treated with SSRI’s showed improvements compared to a control group - BUT Hollander’s study only had 10 participants; a larger, longer study by Blanco et al (32 gamblers over 6 months) showed SSRI was no more effective than a placebo + Kim and Grant showed that naltrexone led to decrease in gambling thoughts and behaviours after 6 weeks of treatment - Intervention bias of doctors: Cohen and Cohen suggest that clinicians don’t believe addictions are too difficult to treat, because they only come across them when the addiction is too advanced to respond to treatment

Psychological interventions:
Reinforcement: Sindelar did a study with addicts on methadone therapy (+ counselling). One group was rewarded every time they tested negative for drugs. By the end, the reward group had 60% more negative urine tests than the control (who weren’t offered rewards). + Sindelar showed it to be effective at reducing the addictive behaviour - BUT Reinforcement doesn’t address the underlying problems...
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