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The Thirteenth StepAddiction in the Age of Brain Science$
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Markus Heilig

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231172363

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231172363.001.0001

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Please Behave

Please Behave

(p.194) 16 Please Behave
The Thirteenth Step

Markus Heilig

Columbia University Press

This chapter begins by discussing the common elements of effective treatments for addiction. First, they all specifically focus on drug seeking and taking. Second, methods that focus on practicing changing specific behaviors do a better job than methods that talk about these behaviors, try to dissect intrapsychic conflicts thought to underlie them, or apply other complicated psychological constructs. The chapter then considers techniques to manage withdrawal and initiate abstinence, and argues that safely and humanely detoxifying people and initiating abstinence makes sense only if accompanied by a well thought out, long-term plan for managing addiction. It sets out steps that patients can take to deal with relapse. It also considers the recent wave of psychological approaches broadly covered by the umbrella term of “mindfulness” or “third-wave cognitive behavioral therapies”.

Keywords:   addiction, addictive disorders, relapse prevention, addiction treatments, drug seeking, mindfulness, behavioral therapy

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