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Expectancies

From first experimentation to addiction, substance use is a decision. That is, individuals who use alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs choose to do so (although this choice is not always the result of careful thought). Expectancies are powerful motivators of this choice. With regard to drug use, expectancies are the effects that an individual anticipates from the use of any given substance. Examples include "Drinking alcohol makes me drunk" and "Smoking cigarettes make me feel relaxed." Substance-related expectancies are among the most potent predictors of the range of drug use behavior. For instance, they predict the initiation of substance use, onset of problematic patterns of use, current levels of consumption, and treatment outcome. This entry provides overviews of the expectancy concept; expectancy measurement; and alcohol-, ...

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