Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


Substance Use and Addiction Conference; Washington DC; 2018

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #3
Models of Addiction and Treatment
Monday, November 19, 2018
12:30 PM–3:00 PM
Independence Hall A
Domain: Applied
Instruction Level: Intermediate
CE Instructor: Mark Galizio, Ph.D.
Chair: Mark Galizio (University of North Carolina Wilmington)
Discussant: Amy Odum (Utah State University)
Reinforcer Pathology: A Conceptual Model of Addiction
WARREN K. BICKEL (Addiction Recovery Research Center, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute )
Dr. Bickel joined the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute in 2011 and serves as Director for the Addiction Recovery Research Center and Co-Director of the Center for Transformative Research on Health Behaviors. He has appointments as professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech; professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine; and Virginia Tech Faculty of Health Sciences. In recognition of his extraordinary contributions to research and scholarship achievements, Dr. Bickel recently was awarded the Virginia Tech Carilion Behavioral Health Research Endowed Professorship. He received his Ph.D. in developmental and child psychology from the University of Kansas and completed post doctoral training at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Bickel then joined the faculty at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he taught and led a research program. He next relocated to the University of Vermont where he became a Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology and Interim-Chair of the Department of Psychiatry. While in Vermont, he contributed to the public debate about treating opioid-dependent individuals and was the Founding Director of the first methadone treatment program in the State of Vermont. Dr. Bickel’s next appointment was at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). While at UAMS, he held the Wilbur D. Mills Chair of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Prevention and was the Director of the Center for Addiction Research. He also served as Director of the College of Public Health’s Center for the Study of Tobacco Addiction and was the Associate Director of the Psychiatric Research Institute. Dr. Bickel is an accomplished scholar and researcher whose accolades include being named a 2014 Fellow in the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research; the 2012 Brady-Schuster Award for Outstanding Behavioral Science Research in Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse, Division 28 of the American Psychological Association (APA); and the 2011 APA International Don Hake Translational Research Distinguished Contributions to Basic Research Award. In 2012, he was selected by the APA Science Directorate and Board of Scientific Affairs as a Distinguished Scientist Lecturer. Dr. Bickel was honored to be the recipient of the 2016 Nathan B. Eddy Award from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence. Additionally, he has received an NIH MERIT Award from NIDA and NIH has funded Dr. Bickel’s work continuously since 1987. He has served as President of CPDD, President of APA Division 28 - Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse, and President of APA Division 50 - Society of Addiction Psychology. Dr. Bickel was Editor of the journal, Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, has co-edited five books, and has published over 340 papers and chapters. Dr. Bickel’s work frequently is cited and receives national and international recognition.
Abstract: Reinforcer pathology, a recent development in the field of behavioral economics, specifies that (1) reinforcers are integrated over time, (2) that length of the window of integration can vary, and, in turn, (3) alter the valuation of different reinforcers. Short temporal windows of integration will tend to increase the value of intense, reliable and brief reinforcers such as drugs while leading to a decline in the value of reinforcers that are less intense, variable and accrue value over longer time frames such as prosocial reinforcers. Conversely, long temporal windows of integration should result in a reversal in the valuation of drug and prosocial reinforcers. Importantly, reinforcer pathology provides an understanding of the "anhedonia" that often occurs in the development of addiction and suggests a novel approach to treatment; namely, to increase the length of the temporal integration window. In this presentation, this model and data supporting it will be reviewed.
Self-Sustaining Treatments for Drug Addiction and Incubation of Craving Leading to Relapse
MARILYN CARROLL (University of Minnesota)
Dr. Marilyn Carroll received her BS in Psychology and BA in Pre-Law from Penn State University in 1968. After working in Washington DC for 3 years on government research projects with the Office of Economic Opportunity, she completed her Ph.D. in Psychobiology and Neuroscience from Florida State University from 1971–75 with Dr. James C. Smith as her mentor on a T32 Psychobiology training fellowship. From 1975–76 she taught Psychology and Statistics courses at Macalester College in St. Paul, and from 1976–1980 she conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Minnesota with Dr. Richard A. Meisch under a T31 training fellowship from NIDA on animal models of addiction using rats and rhesus monkeys. She continued on in the Psychiatry Department in Minnesota in 1980 as an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and since 1993 has been Professor in Psychiatry and Neuroscience, and adjunct Professor in Psychology. Dr. Carroll’s research interests have been focused on biological factors in drug addiction (Sex and hormonal, impulsivity, sweet preference, and stress) and behavioral economic factors. Currently she focuses on treatments for addiction that are sex-specific, sensitive to hormonal influences, novel, environmentally enriching, self-sustaining over long periods that cover craving during abstinence (e.g., exercise, vaccines), target underlying behaviors (anxiety, impulsivity), and combination therapies.
Abstract: The goal of my research is to model various forms of human drug addiction in animals, taking into account factors that increase or decrease addiction potential and severity such as sex, hormonal factors, impulsivity, sweet preference, and other genetic factors. My students, colleagues, and I have also developed self-sustaining treatments to reduce or eliminate incubation of craving and subsequent drug-seeking over long periods of time. My research has been involved in the development of novel methods of modeling drug addiction in rats and nonhuman primates, with self-administration of opioids, stimulants, alcohol, and with several routes of self-administration used by humans, such as intravenous, drinking (oral), and smoking. Behavioral economic methods and analyses of demand for drug self-administration and behavioral patterns have been compared in humans and nonhuman animals to better understand factors that increase and treatments that reduce demand for drugs. Recent work has focused on self-motivated novel treatments for drug addiction such offering concurrent, nondrug rewards like physical exercise that reduce initiation, acceleration of drug use, and prevent relapse. Self-motivated alternative behaviors, such as physical exercise, also reduce long-term drug craving. That is important because animal models indicate that craving continues for months after standard treatments end. Current studies are also extending these findings to prevention models and to models of binge eating and food addiction in animals.
Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants with be able to: (1) describe two procedures used in basic research to demonstrate the role of genetics in behavior; (2) explain the difference between a genotype, phenotype, and endophenotype; (3) discuss the data indicating that an individual�s level of delay discounting can be classified as an endophenotype; (4) describe behavioral procedures to assess alcohol-related phenotypes in mice; (5) assess the genetic-basis of the relationship between delay discounting and the potential for alcohol abuse.



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