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A Framework for the Specificity of Addictions

By Steve Sussman, Adam Leventhal, Ricky N. Bluthenthal, Marilyn Freimuth, Myriam Forster and Susan L. Ames


Research over the last two decades suggests that a wide range of substance and behavioral addictions may serve similar functions. Yet, co-occurrence of addictions has only been reported among a minority of addicts. “Addiction specificity” pertains to a phenomenon in which one pattern of addictive behaviors may be acquired whereas another is not. This paper presents the PACE model as a framework which might help explain addiction specificity. Pragmatics, attraction, communication, and expectation (PACE) variables are described, which may help give some direction to future research needs in this arena

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