What Is a Conditioned Compensatory Response?

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A conditioned compensatory response is an automatic response that is in the opposite direction to that of the effect of alcohol. According to Empathetic Counseling, conditioned behavior forms a key part of drug addiction, but the unconditioned and conditioned pairing responses and stimuli occur in different ways. In such a case, the conditioned response is what is referred to as conditioned compensatory response.

The conditioned stimulus is called a cue and forms an important part in this model. In addition to contemporary processes, drug addiction therapy uses another process of conditioned behavior called extinction. When extinction is used as a form of therapy, a person who is recovering from an addiction is only exposed to the cues from his or her environment, but is not subjected to the unconditional stimulus needed to create an unconditioned response, according to Empathetic Counseling. Eventually, the cues to create a craving diminish as a result of the extinction. This way, the addict is cured of her addiction, at least for a moment. In order to maintain the benefits of extinction, the addict must keep all cues at bay. This primarily involves not returning to the drug-related cues that characterized his or her past environment.