Drug Addiction

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Pages: 30
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Drug Addiction as a Psychobiological Process The emphasis is on biological mechanisms underlying addiction, although some other factors influencing drug addiction will also be discussed. The presentation is limited primarily to psychomotor stimulants (e.g., amphetamine, cocaine) and opiates (e.g., heroin, morphine) for two reasons. First, considerable knowledge has been gained during the past 15 years regarding the neurobiological mechanisms mediating their addictive properties. Second, these two pharmacological classes represent the best examples of potent …

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…nor does it differ significantly from other forms of compulsive behavior. Rather, it involves conventional motivational processes and is distinguished only by its extremely potent control of behavior. The rewarding drug effects involve primarily an appetitive motivational process best described by incentive motivational theory. Cognitive expectancies figure prominently in the individual’s behavior, and intrapersonal and social factors can significantly influence drug taking. Addiction, however, is most directly related to the drug’s pharmacological properties.