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Addiction and ChoiceRethinking the relationship$
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Nick Heather and Gabriel Segal

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198727224

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198727224.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 October 2021

Self-regulation, controlled processes, and the treatment of addiction

Self-regulation, controlled processes, and the treatment of addiction

(p.286) Chapter 16 Self-regulation, controlled processes, and the treatment of addiction
Addiction and Choice

Andrew J. Vonasch

Heather M. Maranges

Roy F. Baumeister

Oxford University Press

A common view is that a core feature of addiction is loss of conscious control. We present an alternative view in which we emphasize the role of conscious control and self-regulation in both sustaining and ending an addiction. In our model, addictive behaviors occur because addicts self-regulate successfully to fulfill problematic desires. Therefore, the most crucial step in treatment is that the addict consciously decides to stop fulfilling those desires. The addict must then self-regulate to quit. We describe the self-regulatory steps an addict must take to quit using drugs (set clear standards, maintain motivation to quit, maintain self-efficacy to quit, train willpower, and avoid depleting willpower through avoiding too many concurrent uses) and to avoid relapse (make lifestyle changes to minimize temptation, and avoid losing motivation after a lapse).

Keywords:   addiction, addictive behaviors, self-regulation, conscious control, controlled processes

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