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Classical Conditioning in a Nutshell April 21, 2007

Posted by Johan in Learning.

I began snorting/smoking heroin. when i finally decided to shoot it was because i was spending way too much to get high and i just didnt care anymore. before the first time i stuck myself i had a huge phobea of needles. At doctors offices i would bitch and whine and sometimes pass out from needles. right after i got the courage to stick myself it was all out the window. I became addicted to the needles as well. I would often stick myself with water when i had no dope to shoot just to get the feeling of putting a needle in my flesh.

Came across this forum post by a former drug addict. While this isn’t the typical classical conditioning, where a neutral stimulus becomes pleasant or aversive, it’s quite a striking example of how powerful conditioning can be. Even something as unpleasant as a needle sting can become satisfying if it has been paired with a reinforcer as powerful as opiates…



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