Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 506477
Title The dynamics of addiction : Craving versus self-control
Author(s) Grasman, Johan; Grasman, Raoul P.P.P.; Maas, Han L.J. van der
Source PLoS One 11 (2016)6. - ISSN 1932-6203
Department(s) Biometris (WU MAT)
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016

This study deals with addictive acts that exhibit a stable pattern not intervening with the normal routine of daily life. Nevertheless, in the long term such behaviour may result in health damage. Alcohol consumption is an example of such addictive habit. The aim is to describe the process of addiction as a dynamical system in the way this is done in the natural and technological sciences. The dynamics of the addictive behaviour is described by a mathematical model consisting of two coupled difference equations. They determine the change in time of two state variables, craving and self-control. The model equations contain terms that represent external forces such as societal rules, peer influences and cues. The latter are formulated as events that are Poisson distributed in time. With the model it is shown how a person can get addicted when changing lifestyle. Although craving is the dominant variable in the process of addiction, the moment of getting dependent is clearly marked by a switch in a variable that fits the definition of addiction vulnerability in the literature. Furthermore, the way chance affects a therapeutic addiction intervention is analysed by carrying out a Monte Carlo simulation. Essential in the dynamical model is a nonlinear component which determines the configuration of the two stable states of the system: being dependent or not dependent. Under identical external conditions both may be stable (hysteresis). With the dynamical systems approach possible switches between the two states are explored (repeated relapses).

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