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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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Behavioral economics as a framework for brief motivational interventions to reduce addictive behaviors

Behavioral economics as a framework for brief motivational interventions to reduce addictive behaviors

Chapter:
(p.325) Chapter 18 Behavioral economics as a framework for brief motivational interventions to reduce addictive behaviors
Source:
Addiction and Choice
Author(s):

James G. Murphy

Ashley A. Dennhardt

Ali M. Yurasek

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198727224.003.0018

Laboratory research guided by behavioral economics suggests that reinforcement from substance-free activities influences rates of alcohol consumption, and that addiction may be related to a sharp discounting of delayed rewards. These behavioral economic mechanisms have also shown consistent relations to alcohol and drug consumption in naturalistic studies, and have informed the development of efficacious interventions such as contingency management. A key next step in increasing the public health impact of these basic reinforcement mechanisms is to understand their specific relations to the development of addiction and their potential to be manipulated in brief interventions. Behavioral economic laboratory research suggests that increasing the salience of delayed outcomes and the extent to which the behavior leading to those rewards or punishers is viewed as part of a coherent pattern can reduce impulsive choices. This chapter discusses a novel brief intervention approach—the Substance Free Activity Session—that attempts to reduce alcohol and drug consumption by targeting these behavioral economic mechanisms of change. It will also discuss behavioral economic approaches to quantifying addiction severity or potential, including demand curve and monetary and behavioral allocation based measures of substance reinforcing efficacy.

Keywords:   behavioral economics, brief interventions, alcohol, Substance Free Activity Session, Reinforcement

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