Types of Intervention Psychology

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Outline each of the types of intervention and evaluate their effectiveness (9 + 16 marks). One intervention is through biological means. For example, methadone mimics the effects of heroin but is less addictive and produces euphoria but to a lesser degree. Initially a drug abuser is prescribed slowly increasing amounts of methadone to increase tolerance to the drug. The dose is then slowly decreased until the addict no longer needs either methadone or heroin. However, this needs to consider individual differences as some addicts may find that methadone is not enough of a kick to substitute heroin. It also depends upon the motivation the addict has into giving up heroin. No drug has yet been approved in the UK to treat pathological gambling, but research suggests that drug treatments can have beneficial effects. There is, for example, evidence to support serotonin dysfunction in pathological gambling. One study found that gamblers treated with SSRIs to increase serotonin levels showed significant improvements compared to a control group. Administration of naltrexone which is a dopamine receptor antagonist, works by reducing rewarding and reinforcing properties of gambling behaviour, thus reducing the urge to gamble. However, naltrexone seems as though it would have negative side effects. For example, there are no specific regions of the brain that operate rewards purely for gambling therefore the drug must reduce other rewarding stimuli. Due to a change in dopamine levels it may create other problems such as depression or a phobia. Drugs also mask over the root of the problem, thus once an addict is weaned off the heroin the underlying problems may cause the addict the relapse. Therefore other types of intervention need to be considered such as the individual’s cognitions. This theory is also deterministic as it suggests that if serotonin levels are abnormal an individual is much more likely to become a pathological gambler. It may also contain...
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