Addiction and environment: A test of restricted environmental stimulation therapy
AuthorDavid, Baylah, 1942-
AdvisorDaniel, Terry C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe research reported consists of the study of the application of Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST), a form of sensory restriction, as a technique to supplement conventional outpatient treatment of alcohol and drug dependence in preventing relapse to substance abuse. Through a thorough review of the literature in several addictions, alcohol, drugs, tobacco, food, the proposition is put forth that there may be a neurological relationship between anomalous laterality, field dependency and addiction. By applying REST, a technique which has been already researched in the treatment of various forms of tobacco addiction and eating disorders, as a treatment to reinforce new found abstinence from alcohol and drug abuse, a test is made indirectly of the hypothesis that there is a commonality to the spectrum of addictions which is impacted by the application of 24 hours of sensory restriction. Thirty-one subjects, who had been enrolled for 3 to 8 weeks in outpatient treatment for alcohol and/or drug dependence, were recruited from several treatment programs in Tucson, Arizona, and participated in the study's pre-test. Through severe attrition a total of 12 subjects completed three questionnaires over a two month follow-up period. Of those, seven subjects, randomly selected, spent 24 hours in a soundproof, dark room. Five control subjects completed all questionnaires while participating in their pre-existing treatment programs. A disproportionate percentage of the twenty males completing the pretest were found to be mixed laterals while ten females reported an inordinate number of left-handed male relatives. Findings support the thesis that various addictions share a common neurological basis. Two months after the pre-test the treatment group reported having more confidence they would be able to resist the urge to use drugs than did the control group. Due to the small sample size, no other statistically significant effects of the REST treatment were found. In spite of that fact, results are promising in support of the thesis that REST is a viable tool in reinforcing abstinence from alcohol and drugs.
Degree ProgramGraduate College