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The role of the environment in aiding recovery from addiction


Page 6 of 8
The Conditioned Appetitive Model suggests that a craving for a substance is a consequence of its enjoyable effects, and it also helps to explain how relapse may occur after a long period of abstinence: The environment in which the substance is used will, over time, come to be associated with the positive experiences similar to that produced by the substance itself. When re-exposed to this conditioned environment, the individual is triggered into a positive (appetitive) motivational state that will pursue the use of the substance (Bradizza & Stasiewkz, 2009). The Affective Processing Model of Negative Reinforcement proposes that escaping and avoiding negative emotional feelings is the cause of addiction to substances. Feelings of stress, conflict, anger, sorrow, futility, grief and desolation can increase the incentive towards substance use. Both drugs and alcohol have been proven to be proficient in relieving negative emotional states and so continued substance use becomes reinforced (Bradizza & Stasiewkz, 2009).
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