Effective Treatments for Addictive Behavior

Addiction has biological, psychological and social origins.  Like all aspects of psychology, it’s crucial to understand etiology in order to design a proper treatment approach. 

Read the following research regarding treatment approaches to addiction and complete the linked assignment below. 

Changing Addictive Behaviors: A Process Perspective

Carlo C. DiClemente
Current Directions in Psychological Science
Vol. 2, No. 4


“That Feeling of Not Feeling”: Numbing the Pain for Substance-Dependent African American Women

Joanne T. Ehrmin


Affiliation with Alcoholics Anonymous after treatment: A study of its therapeutic effects and mechanisms of action.

By Morgenstern, Jon; Labouvie, Erich; McCrady, Barbara S.; Kahler, Christopher W.; Frey, Ronni M.


Treatment Assignment: 

 Treatment addiction

Treatment for Depression Understood


As far as the IB is concerned, there are 4 main types of treatment for disorders: Biomedical, Individual, Group & Eclectic.

By far, the most popular treatment practiced today is the Eclectic Approach to treatment which is a combination of 2 or more of the above.

However there is growing research supporting alternative treatment forms such as sleep therapy, acupuncture, yoga, and exercise.  These treatments are the focus of much recent research:



You should be familiar with research supporting all the above approaches.  The learning activity below will aide you in this acquisition of knowledge:

Treatment Activity

Check out the AWESOME treatment project that 2 students did!

Biological Evidence of PTSD

Interesting article below elucidating recent studies on specific opiate receptors in brain that are active/inactive in patients with PTSD and the hope that greater understanding of brain regions involved in PTSD could lead to a more specific treatment. The lead doctor writes:

“Our study points toward a more personalized treatment approach for people with a specific symptom profile that’s been linked to a particular neurobiological abnormality,” explained the study’s lead author, Dr. Alexander Neumeister, co-director of NYU Langone Medical Center’s Steven and Alexandra Cohen Veterans Center for the Study of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury, in an NYU news release. “Understanding more about where and how symptoms of PTSD manifest in the brain is a critical part of research efforts to develop more effective medications and treatment modalities.”