Warren Bickel receives additional support for complex addictions

Warren K. Bickel, Ph.D.

Warren K. Bickel, Ph.D.

Warren Bickel, director of the Addiction Recovery Research Center at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, recently received a $40,000 supplemental grant from the National Institutes of Health to research self-control improvement interventions in people who are addicted to a combination of substances. Such combinations may include tobacco and alcohol together, or tobacco and alcohol, along with other substances.

Bickel’s research team will investigate temporal discounting—the discounting of the future in favor of immediate gratification—and stimulus-bound behavior in hundreds of smokers, people with multiple addictions, and those without any substance addiction.

The aim of the research is to discover whether those with dependence on more than one substance discount the future more than others and whether this temporal discounting affects how their immediate environment influences them. If people with more than one substance dependence do indeed discount the future more, Bickel’s team will investigate methods to correct this behavior and improve treatments for people struggling with more than one substance dependence.