Friday, May 25, 2012
Drug addiction and classical conditioning
After reading chapter four and viewing the lecture slides I came across something that I could relate to. Drug addiction and what comes along with addiction problems. I have a loved one that is in recovery and have became very educated in the area. I was shocked to learn that it could be genetic even if you have never met the other family member who had a addiction problem. My loved one has had a problem with both marijuana and pills, but after a long process of a methadone clinic and meetings she is now in recovery. when thinking about adiction you rarely hear about it as a classical conditioning process. But when you think about the process you can find a definite connection. As described in the lecture slides of chapter four (slide 40) the link is described. When talking to my loved one I asked her what triggers a want to use are there any key places or words/phrases that you link with either using or getting high? And she explained to me that when she buys a new purse or gets her nails done or does them herself she thinks of using because those are there's things she was always doing when she was using. Now when she does those things she gets extremely nervous and sometimes has to stop doing what she is doing because the classical conditioning is still quite strong it scares her and risks her sobriety. Words that also are linked for her are the names Mary and Jane, got the stuff, stash, high, etc. As explained in the lecture these words or actions become a direct link (conditioned stimulus) to the past pleasure present fear of pleasure (unconditional response). My loved one could do anything to get to her drugs or to use her motivation was her drugs and nothing else because the drugs (unconditional stimulus) became her life. Now that the stimulus is gone her motivational drive has to reroute to have a different healthy drive force, which seems to be taking a long time to do. With out her drugs she seems like she takes longer to accomplish tasks where as the drug addict could of found multiple ways of manipulating things or people to get the task done quicker or have it done for her.