Current Directions in Psychological Science, vol. 15, issue 5 (2006) pp. 232-236
Recent theories suggest that drug withdrawal does not motivate drug use and relapse. However, data now show that withdrawal produces complex changes over time in at least two symptoms (i.e., negative affect and urges) that are highly predictive of relapse. Evidence suggests that falling levels of the drug in the blood and interruption of the drug self-administration ritual both affect these symptoms. Both of these forms of withdrawal motivate renewed drug use in addicted individuals.
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