What is positive reinforcement in addiction?

Positive reinforcement is the desirable reward of a behavior, which tends to result in a repetition of that behavior, in anticipation of the same reward. This repetition of behavior can be applied to the repetition of drug use in addicted people. Positive reinforcement is providing some type of reward or benefit to increase the chances of a repeat behavior. For some people, the pleasure of eating chocolate is reinforced when they are offered chocolate, since they eat more.

For others, the euphoria of running a marathon keeps them training despite the aches and pains. Quite a simple concept, right? Positive reinforcement drives behavior for all of us, whether toward healthy or not so healthy behaviors. Positive reinforcement works by creating achievable benchmarks that align with your treatment plan to offer a more tangible goal. Early in recovery, the benefits of sustained sobriety may seem so distant: positive reinforcement creates small wins along the way to keeping you energized when it's hard to find motivation.

Positive reinforcement involves adding a reinforcing stimulus after the behavior to encourage future repetition. When an action is accompanied by a reward, an event, or a pleasant outcome, that particular behavior will be reinforced. In general, reinforcing stimuli are considered to be an important contributor to drug addiction. When an addict uses a drug, a complex series of neurochemical processes occur that associate this behavior with pleasure.

For your own recovery, positive reinforcement and goal setting can mean a lot of things. Positive reinforcement could be a great addition to your recovery plan, since it's worth rewarding yourself for your sobriety. It's also possible for a loved one to suffer from substance abuse. Positive reinforcement is a great way to help create a routine and a positive attitude with a loved one.

Reinforcement refers to the response that is likely after a stimulus. The reinforcement can be positive or negative. Positive reinforcement means that the activity or situation has beneficial results, such as pleasure or reward. Negative reinforcement refers to the elimination or cessation of negative feelings or behaviors when an activity or situation occurs.

In relation to drugs, both positive and negative reinforcement are necessary to instill a certain behavior in a person, such as an addiction. When a person uses drugs or alcohol, they can have rewarding results, have fun, and maybe make new friends. When they're not under the influence, there can be negative outcomes, such as feeling socially awkward and shy. The combination of these two factors may increase the likelihood that a dependency or addiction will develop.

The positive and negative reinforcement of drug use can contribute to repeat behavior. Positive reinforcement is used in addiction recovery because those struggling with addiction don't always consider the potential negative outcomes of their actions, weakening the effect of using punishment.

Blanche Taboada
Blanche Taboada

Lifelong internet geek. Award-winning twitter fanatic. Award-winning bacon enthusiast. General zombie practitioner. Passionate zombie maven.