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      Commentary on: Are we overpathologizing everyday life? A tenable blueprint for behavioral addiction research : On the slippery slopes: The case of gambling addiction

      1 , *

      Journal of Behavioral Addictions

      Akadémiai Kiadó

      pathological gambling, video games, addiction, tolerance, neuroimaging, structural features

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          Billieux et al. (2015) propose that the recent proliferation of behavioral addictions has been driven by deficiencies in the underlying research strategy. This commentary considers how pathological gambling (now termed gambling disorder) traversed these challenges to become the first recognized behavioral addiction in the DSM-5. Ironically, many similar issues continue to exist in research on gambling disorder, including question-marks over the validity of tolerance, heterogeneity in gambling motives, and the under-specification of neuroimaging biomarkers. Nevertheless, I contend that the case for gambling disorder as a behavioral addiction has been bolstered by the existence of clear and consistent functional impairment (primarily in the form of debt), coupled with the development of a public health approach that has given emphasis to product features (i.e. the structural characteristics of gambling forms) as much as individual dispositions (the ‘addictive personality’).

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          Most cited references 21

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          Are we overpathologizing everyday life? A tenable blueprint for behavioral addiction research

          Background Behavioral addiction research has been particularly flourishing over the last two decades. However, recent publications have suggested that nearly all daily life activities might lead to a genuine addiction. Methods and aim In this article, we discuss how the use of atheoretical and confirmatory research approaches may result in the identification of an unlimited list of “new” behavioral addictions. Results Both methodological and theoretical shortcomings of these studies were discussed. Conclusions We suggested that studies overpathologizing daily life activities are likely to prompt a dismissive appraisal of behavioral addiction research. Consequently, we proposed several roadmaps for future research in the field, centrally highlighting the need for longer tenable behavioral addiction research that shifts from a mere criteria-based approach toward an approach focusing on the psychological processes involved.
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            The dopamine theory of addiction: 40 years of highs and lows.

            For several decades, addiction has come to be viewed as a disorder of the dopamine neurotransmitter system; however, this view has not led to new treatments. In this Opinion article, we review the origins of the dopamine theory of addiction and discuss the ability of addictive drugs to elicit the release of dopamine in the human striatum. There is robust evidence that stimulants increase striatal dopamine levels and some evidence that alcohol may have such an effect, but little evidence, if any, that cannabis and opiates increase dopamine levels. Moreover, there is good evidence that striatal dopamine receptor availability and dopamine release are diminished in individuals with stimulant or alcohol dependence but not in individuals with opiate, nicotine or cannabis dependence. These observations have implications for understanding reward and treatment responses in various addictions.
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              Toward a syndrome model of addiction: multiple expressions, common etiology.


                Author and article information

                J Behav Addict
                J Behav Addict
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                Akadémiai Kiadó
                September 2015
                29 September 2015
                : 4
                : 3
                : 132-134
                [1 ]Centre for Gambling Research at UBC, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia , Vancouver, Canada
                Author notes
                * Corresponding address: Dr Luke Clark; Centre for Gambling Research at UBC, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, 2136 West Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z4; E-mail: luke.clark@
                © 2015 Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, References: 26, Pages: 3
                The Centre for Gambling Research at UBC is supported by funding from the Province of British Columbia and the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC). Dr Clark holds research funding in the UK from the Medical Research Council (G1100554).


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