Behavioral Treatments for the Addictions

Description of the Strategy

The behavioral treatment of alcohol and drug addiction has an extensive history, from its humble beginnings emphasizing simple conditioning techniques like aversion therapy to its contemporary emphasis on comprehensive cognitive-behavioral approaches. While recognizing the physiological and genetic aspects of substance use, behavioral clinicians operate under the theoretical notion that addiction is a learned behavior and that treatment techniques based on learning theory can be used to change it.

Behavioral treatment of alcohol and drug abuse typically begins with a functional analysis of behavior, which is, in essence, a complete assessment of the reasons people use and abuse drugs. A thorough functional analysis may take several sessions to complete, and it lays the foundation upon which treatment is built. In ...

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