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desire

desire Desire refers to the psychological aspects of sexuality, particularly fantasies, operating both consciously and unconsciously. It is distinct from both the biological aspects of sexuality—the body and its sensations, its ability to reproduce, and sexual acts—and the social and political aspects, including sexual identity and sexual relationships.

Although we experience pleasure and pain through our bodies, arguably much of this is in fact a result of the psychological aspects of fantasy and desire. Psychoanalytic theory has explored these issues in particular, and in recent years the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan challenged Sigmund Freud's theory of biological ‘drives’, arguing instead that sexuality and desire are primarily sites for the production—and transgression—of meaning, and that desire is a result of cultural meanings and representations as much as any physiological expression. In particular, he sees desire as a metonym; that is, a word used in a transferred sense—‘metonymy’ being a figure of speech, and an important concept in semiology, in which the name of one thing is substituted for another to which it is related, for example an effect for a cause, or as in the substitution of ‘the bottle’ for ‘drink’. See also NEED.

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"desire." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. 28 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Craving

CRAVING

The term craving is generally delined as a state of desire, longing, or urge for a drug that is responsible for ongoing drug-use behavior in drug-dependent individuals. Craving is also viewed by many drug-abuse researchers and clinicians as the main cause of relapse among drug users attempting to remain abstinent. During periods of abstinence, drug-dependent individuals often complain of intense craving for their drug. Several systems for diagnosing drug abuse include persistent desire or craving for a drug as a major symptom of drug-dependence disorders.

The belief that an addict's inability to control drug use is caused by craving and irresistible desire was a prominent feature of descriptions of addictive disorders provided by many nineteenth-century writers. Craving continued to be important in many models of addiction developed in the twentieth century. The use of craving as a key mechanism in theories of addiction peaked in the 1950s, supported largely by E. M. Jellinek's writings on the causes of alcoholism.

Jellinek contended that sober alcoholics who consumed a small amount of alcohol would experience overwhelming craving that would compel them to continue drinking. The proposal that craving and loss of control over drinking were equivalent concepts was adopted by many clinicians and addiction researchers. Equally popular was the position, also supported by Jellinek, that craving was a direct sign of drug withdrawal. Withdrawal-based craving was often described as physical craving, distinguishing it from craving that led to relapse during long periods of abstinence after withdrawal had subsided. Craving that occurred after an addict no longer was experiencing withdrawal was typically viewed as the result of psychological factors. The craving concept was sufficiently controversial that a committee of alcoholism experts brought together by the World Health Organization in 1954 (WHO Expert Committees on Mental Health and on Alcohol, 1955) recommended that the term craving not be used to describe various aspects of drinking behavior seen in alcoholics.

The use of craving as a key process in theories of addiction decreased during the 1960s and early 1970s as a result of several factors. During this period, many studies showed that alcoholics did not necessarily engage in loss of control drinking when they drank small doses of alcohol. The failure to confirm Jellinek's conceptualization of alcoholic drinking cast doubt on the idea that craving was synonymous with loss of control over drug intake. Furthermore, withdrawal models of craving could not account for the common observation that many addicts experienced craving and relapsed long after their withdrawal had disappeared. Finally, addiction research was increasingly dominated by behavioral approaches that focused on the influence of environmental variables in the control of drug taking and avoided the use of subjective concepts, such as craving, to explain addictive behavior.

Even though many researchers questioned the value of using craving to explain addictive behavior, it persisted as an important clinical issue, as many addicts complained that craving was a major barrier to their attempts to stop using drugs. Craving continued to be cited as a major symptom of drug dependence in formal diagnostic systems of behavioral disorders, and the notion that craving was responsible for compulsive drug use remained at the core of several popular conceptualizations of drug addiction. Scientific interest on the role of craving in addictive disorders reemerged in the middle 1970s as a result of two developments. First, behavioral theories of addiction were increasingly influenced by social-cognitive models of behavior that were more sympathetic to the possibility that hypothetical entities such as craving might be useful in explaining addictive processes. Second, animal research on the contribution of learning processes to drug tolerance and drug withdrawal provided support for the hypothesis that learned withdrawal effects might produce craving and relapse in abstinent addicts.

THEORIES OF CRAVING

Although there is considerable disagreement across current theories regarding the processes that supposedly control craving, nearly all models describe craving as, fundamentally, a subjective state and agree on the impact of craving on drug use. With few exceptions, modern theories of craving assume that craving is a necessary, but probably not sufficient, condition for drug taking among addicts. These theories suppose that addicts are driven to use drugs because of their craving, and craving is generally described as the principal cause of relapse in addicts trying to remain abstinent. Moreover, all the comprehensive models of craving invoke some sort of learning or cognitive process in their descriptions of the mechanisms controlling craving, and these models make little distinction between physical and psychological forms of drug craving. It is important to note that, at the present time, research on craving is not sufficiently advanced to fully evaluate the validity of any of the major models of craving.

Many modern theories associate craving with drug withdrawal and suggest that craving may be merely a part of drug withdrawal. For example, the diagnostic system published by the American Psychiatric Association in 1987 listed craving as one of the symptoms of withdrawal for nicotine and opiates. Other approaches assume that cravings are distinct from withdrawal, but represent an addict's anticipation of, and desire for, relief from withdrawal. To explain the presence of craving following long periods of abstinence, it has been posited that learning processes are responsible for the maintenance of withdrawal effects. For example, Wikler's conditioning model of drug withdrawal (see Wikler' Spharmacologic The-Ory) hypothesizes that situations reliably paired with episodes of drug withdrawal become conditioned stimuli that can produce conditioned withdrawal responses. An addict who has been abstinent for an extended period may reexperience withdrawal if faced with these conditioned stimuli. This learned-withdrawal reaction will trigger drug craving, that, in turn, may lead to relapse. A similar theory is based on the suggestion that drug-tolerance processes can become conditioned to environmental stimuli. Some have hypothesized that conditioned drug-tolerance effects will produce withdrawal-like reactions that, as in Wikler's theory, should promote craving and relapse to drug use (Poulos, Hinson, & Siegel, 1981).

Another perspective on craving is that it is strongly associated with the positively reinforcing, or stimulating, effects of drugs. For example, Marlatt (1985) has suggested that craving is a subjective state produced by the expectation that use of a drug will produce euphoria, excitation, or stimulation. Similarly, Wise (1988) proposed that craving represents memories for the pleasurable or positively reinforcing effects of drugs. There are also multiprocess models, in which expectancies of positive reinforcement and anticipation of withdrawal relief, as well as other factors, including mood states and access to drugs, generate craving (Baker, Morse, & Sherman, 1987; Gawin, 1990).

In contrast to models that contend that craving is responsible for all addictive drug use, a recent cognitive theory suggests that drug use may operate independently of craving (Tiffany, 1990). According to this theory, as a result of a long history of repeated practice, most of an addict's drug-use behavior becomes automatic. That is, drug use may be easily triggered by certain cues, difficult to stop once triggered, and carried out effortlessly with little awareness. Addicts attempting to withdraw from drug use will experience craving as they try to stop these automatized actions from going through to completion.

MEASURES OF CRAVING

Craving is generally measured through three types of behaviorsself-reports of craving, drug-use behavior, and physiological responding. In the most frequently used measure, self-report, addicts are simply asked to rate or describe their level of craving for a drug. Recently, questionnaires have been developed that ask addicts to rate a variety of questions related to craving. These questionnaires produce results that are considerably more reliable than a single rating of craving and tend to show that an addict's description of craving may have multiple dimensions. Measures of drug-use behavior have also been used to assess drug craving. This is entirely consistent with the common assumption that craving is responsible for drug use in addicts. Finally, as several theories posit that craving should be represented by particular patterns of physiological changes, physiological measures, primarily those controlled by the autonomic nervous system, have been included in several studies as an index of craving. These measures have included changes in heart rate, sweat gland activity, and salivation. In general, withdrawal-based theories predict that the physiology of craving should look like the physiology of drug withdrawal. In contrast, models that emphasize positive reinforcement in the production of craving would associate drug desire with physiology characteristic of the excitatory effects of drugs.

RESEARCH ON CRAVING

Two kinds of studies have been used to investigate drug craving. The first, naturalistic studies, examine changes in addicts' descriptions of craving as they are attempting to stop using drugs. These studies generally have shown that cravings are especially strong in the first several weeks of abstinence, but decline over time as addicts stay off drugs. They also reveal that craving rarely remains at a constant level throughout the day, but grows stronger or weaker depending on the situations the addict encounters. These situations tend to be strongly associated with previous use of drugs, such as meeting drug-using friends or going to locations where the addict used drugs in the past.

Laboratory studies attempt to manipulate craving by presenting addicts with stimuli or cues that have been associated with their previous drug use. For example, a heroin addict may watch a videotape of someone injecting heroin or smokers may be asked to imagine a situation in which they would want to smoke. These cue-reactivity studies allow the measurement of self-reports of craving, drug-use behavior, and physiological reactions under controlled conditions. Results from these studies indicate that abstinence from drugs, drug-related stimuli, and negative moods can influence craving measures.

Many of the results of naturalistic and laboratory studies have presented a challenge to the dominant assumption that craving is directly responsible for drug use in addicts (Kassel & Shiffman, 1902; Tiffany, 1990). For example, across many cue-reactivity studies, there is not a very strong correlation between addict's reported levels of craving and their level of drug consumption in the laboratory. Correlations between self-reported craving and physiological reactions also tend to be weak. Other studies reveal that, although addicts frequently complain that cravings are a major difficulty they face as they try to stay off their drugs, few addicts who relapse say that they experienced craving just before their relapse episode. These findings show that the exact function of craving in drug dependence remains a controversial issue.

Despite these negative indications, millions of dollars are spent each year to develop pharmacological agents that might be capable of blocking, preventing, or reducing craving for various drugs.

(See also: Addiction: Concepts and Definitions ; Causes Drug Abuse: Learning ; Research: Conditioned Drug Effects ; Research, Animal Model: Conditioned Drug Effects )

BIBLIOGRAPHY

American Psychiatric Association. (1987). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders-3rd ed.-rev. Washington, DC: Author.

Baker, T. B., Morse, E., & Sherman, J. E. (1987). The motivation to use drugs: A psychobiological analysis of urges. In P. C. Rivers (Ed.), The Nebraska symposium on motivation: Alcohol use and abuse (pp. 257-323). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Jellinek, E. M. (1955). The "craving" for alcohol. Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 16, 35-38.

Kassel, J.D., & Shiffman, S. (1992). What can hunger teach us about drug craving? A comparative analysis of the two constructs. Advances in Behaviour Research and Therapy, 14, 141-167.

Marlatt, G. A. (1985). Cognitive factors in the relapse process. In G. A. Marlatt & J. R. Gordon (Eds.). Relapse prevention (pp. 128-200). New York: Guilford Press.

Poulous, C. W., Hinson, R., & Siegel., S. (1981). The role of Pavlovian processes in drug tolerance and dependence: Implications for treatment. Addictive Behaviors, 6, 205-211.

Tiffany, S. T. (1990). A cognitive model of drug urges and drug-use behavior: Role of automatic and nonautomatic behavior. Psychological Review, 97, 147-168.

Wikler, A. (1948). Recent progress on neurophysiological basis of morphine addiction. American Journal of Psychiatry, 105, 329-338.

Wise, R. A. (1988). The neurobiology of craving: Implications for understanding and treatment of addiction. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 97, 118-132.

World Health Organization Expert Committees On Mental Health And Alcohol. (1955). Craving for alcohol: Formulation of the Joint Expert Committees on Mental Health and Alcohol. Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 16, 63-64.

Stephen T. Tiffany

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desire

de·sire / dəˈzī(ə)r/ • n. a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen: a desire to work in the dirt with your bare hands. ∎  strong sexual feeling or appetite: they were clinging together in fierce mutual desire. • v. [tr.] strongly wish for or want (something): he never achieved the status he so desired | [as adj.] (desired) it failed to create the desired effect. ∎  want (someone) sexually: there had been a time, years ago, when he had desired her. ∎ archaic express a wish to (someone); request or entreat.

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desire

desire vb. XIII. — (O)F. désirer :- L. dēsīderāre (see DESIDERATE).
So desire sb. XIV. — (O)F. désir, f. the vb. desirous XIV. — AN. desirous, OF. -eus (mod. désireux).

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craving

crav·ing / ˈkrāving/ • n. a powerful desire for something: a craving for chocolate.

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Craving

Craving (Buddhist): see TAṆHĀ.

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craving

craving •pennyfarthing • plaything •silversmithing • anything •everything • northing • nothing •something • rebirthing • farthing •scathing • sheathing •tithing, writhing •southing • clothing • underclothing •Worthing • carving • woodcarving •delving •craving, engraving, paving, raving, saving, shaving •self-deceiving, unbelieving, weaving •living, misgiving, thanksgiving, unforgiving •skydiving • piledriving • coving •approving, reproving, unmoving •unloving •Irving, serving, unswerving •time-serving • lapwing • waxwing •batwing • redwing • lacewing •beeswing • forewing • downswing •outswing • viewing • upswing •underwing • phrasing • stargazing •trailblazing • hellraising • unpleasing •rising, surprising •self-aggrandizing • uncompromising •unpatronizing • uprising •enterprising • appetizing •Dowsing, housing •unimposing •amusing, confusing, musing

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desire

desireacquire, admire, afire, applier, aspire, attire, ayah, backfire, barbwire, bemire, briar, buyer, byre, choir, conspire, crier, cryer, defier, denier, desire, dire, drier, dryer, dyer, enquire, entire, esquire, expire, fire, flyer, friar, fryer, Gaia, gyre, hellfire, hire, hiya, ire, Isaiah, jambalaya, Jeremiah, Josiah, Kintyre, latria, liar, lyre, Maia, Maya, Mayer, messiah, mire, misfire, Nehemiah, Obadiah, papaya, pariah, peripeteia, perspire, playa, Praia, prior, pyre, quire, replier, scryer, shire, shyer, sire, skyer, Sophia, spire, squire, supplier, Surabaya, suspire, tier, tire, transpire, trier, tumble-dryer, tyre, Uriah, via, wire, Zechariah, Zedekiah, Zephaniah •homebuyer

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