19815 Bay Branch Rd
Andalusia, Alabama 36420
(334) 222-2523
HELPLINE: 1-877-530-0002



SCAMHC is an approved Mental Health site for the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment program.  Find out the program details and see if you qualify by visiting: http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/

SCAMHC is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer and maintains a Drug-Free Workplace.

SCAMHC serves all individuals regardless of inability to pay. Discounts for essential services are offered based on family size and income. For more information, contact (334) 222-2523 or our 24/7 Helpline at 1-877-530-0002.



powered by centersite dot net
Basic Information
What is Addiction?What Causes Addiction?How Do You Get Addicted?Signs and Symptoms of AddictionTreatment for AddictionReferencesResourcesFrequentlly Asked Questions about Addiction
TestsLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersVideosLinksBook ReviewsSelf-Help Groups
Related Topics

Anxiety Disorders
Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Cognitive (Expectancy) Theory of Addiction and Recovery Implications

A. Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP, Kaushik Misra, Ph.D., Amy K. Epner, Ph.D., and Galen Morgan Cooper, Ph.D. , edited by C. E. Zupanick, Psy.D.

According to cognitive (or expectancy theory), addictive behaviors are chosen over healthy behaviors due to our expectations. When a person expects the pros and cons of addictive behavior favorably outweigh the pros and cons of healthy behavior, they will choose addiction. For example, someone may (mistakenly) believe that craving, if not satisfied, will result in harm. Or, they may believe that healthier choices will lead to boredom. These expectations about addiction may develop by observing others. This can be through direct or indirect observation.  For instance, a movie may portray a drug dealer as someone who is sexually popular with a glamorous and exciting life. Once these expectations develop, they are often resistant to change. This is true even in the face of new, more accurate information.

To recover, people need to develop more accurate expectations of addiction and craving. A thorough, accurate evaluation of all the pros and cons is encouraged.

Questions for personal reflection from expectancy theory: Wouldn't I benefit from examining my expectations about addiction? It does seem a bit strange that even though my addiction is no longer fun and enjoyable, I still expect it to be fun. Don't I exaggerate the discomfort of craving, imagining it will destroy me or force me to use? Doesn't it simply go away if I wait long enough?