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Addictive Behaviors

Alcohol, Drugs, and Smoking
  • Robert S. Davidson

Abstract

Several classes of behavior can be logically analyzed together under the very loose rubric addictive behaviors. These behaviors have in common that they can occur in normal people at low or intermediate rates and approach pathological significance only they they become The same behaviors seem strongly controlled by powerful, immediate positive reinforcement, and when they become excessive they all seem to produce changes in the individual’s health status that can be termed ultimate aversive consequences (Ferster & Perrott, 1968). Such ultimate aversive consequences, although ranging in severity from interpersonal disruption through physical symptoms such as hangover, withdrawal, and even death, appear to have little real control over the behavior that produces them (especially in terms of reduction of the addictive behaviors) All of these addictive behaviors appear to have in common similar antecedents, consequences, and maintaining stimuli. In addition, addictive behaviors can become more difficult, to treat, or modify as other reinforcers become less effective or important in the lives of the behavers (Crowley, 1972).

Keywords

Behavioral Medicine Drug Addiction Addictive Behavior Methadone Maintenance Drug Addict 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert S. Davidson
    • 1
  1. 1.Behavioral Medicine and Automated Assessment Laboratories, Veterans Administration Medical Center, and Department of PsychologyFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA

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