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      Commentary on: Are we overpathologizing everyday life? A tenable blueprint for behavioral addiction research : On functional and compulsive aspects of reinforcement pathologies

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          Abstract

          Background

          This paper is a commentary to a debate article entitled: “Are we overpathologizing everyday life? A tenable blueprint for behavioral addiction research”, by Billieux et al. (2015).

          Methods and aim

          This brief response focused on the necessity to better characterize psychological and related neurocognitive determinants of persistent deleterious actions associated or not with substance utilization.

          Results

          A majority of addicted people could be driven by psychological functional reasons to keep using drugs, gambling or buying despite the growing number of related negative consequences. In addition, a non-negligible proportion of them would need assistance to restore profound disturbances in basic learning processes involved in compulsive actions.

          Conclusions

          The distinction between psychological functionality and compulsive aspects of addictive behaviors should represent a big step towards more efficient treatments.

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          Most cited references 40

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          The self-medication hypothesis of addictive disorders: focus on heroin and cocaine dependence.

           E J Khantzian (1985)
          Recent clinical observations and psychiatric diagnostic findings of drug-dependent individuals suggest that they are predisposed to addiction because they suffer with painful affect states and related psychiatric disorders. The drugs that addicts select are not chosen randomly. Their drug of choice is the result of an interaction between the psychopharmacologic action of the drug and the dominant painful feelings with which they struggle. Narcotic addicts prefer opiates because of their powerful muting action on the disorganizing and threatening affects of rage and aggression. Cocaine has its appeal because of its ability to relieve distress associated with depression, hypomania, and hyperactivity.
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            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            High impulsivity predicts the switch to compulsive cocaine-taking.

             D Belin,  A C Mar,  J W Dalley (2008)
            Both impulsivity and novelty-seeking have been suggested to be behavioral markers of the propensity to take addictive drugs. However, their relevance for the vulnerability to compulsively seek and take drugs, which is a hallmark feature of addiction, is unknown. We report here that, whereas high reactivity to novelty predicts the propensity to initiate cocaine self-administration, high impulsivity predicts the development of addiction-like behavior in rats, including persistent or compulsive drug-taking in the face of aversive outcomes. This study shows experimental evidence that a shift from impulsivity to compulsivity occurs during the development of addictive behavior, which provides insights into the genesis and neural mechanisms of drug addiction.
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              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: found

              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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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Behav Addict
                J Behav Addict
                jba
                JBA
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                Akadémiai Kiadó
                2062-5871
                2063-5303
                September 2015
                29 September 2015
                : 4
                : 3
                : 135-138
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Brain and Creativity Institute, Department of Psychology, University of Southern California , Los Angeles, CA, USA
                [2 ]Laboratoire de psychologie médicale et d’addictologie, Faculty of Medicine, Brugmann-campus, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) , Brussels, Belgium
                Author notes
                * Corresponding author: Damien Brevers, PhD; Brain and Creativity Institute, University of Southern California, 3620A McClintock Avenue, 90089-2921, Los Angeles, CA, USA; E-mails: dbrevers@ 123456ulb.ac.be ; brevers@ 123456usc.edu
                Article
                10.1556/2006.4.2015.017
                4627670
                26551899
                © 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: 42, Pages: 4
                Product
                Funding
                DB is granted by the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG; Early Stage Investigator Grant). XN (Research Associate) is funded by the Belgian National Foundation for Scientific Research (F.R.S.-FNRS, Belgium).
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