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Emotion dysregulation as a transdiagnostic mechanism of opioid misuse and suicidality among chronic pain patients

Chronic pain is a prevalent condition that causes functional impairment and emotional suffering. To allay pain-induced suffering, opioids are often prescribed for chronic pain management. Yet, chronic pain patients on opioid therapy are at heightened risk for opioid misuse—behaviors that can lead to addiction and overdose. Relatedly, chronic pain patients are at elevated risk for suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviors.

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Mindfulness training targets neurocognitive mechanisms of addiction at the attention-appraisal-emotion interface

Prominent neuroscience models suggest that addictive behavior occurs when environmental stressors and drug-relevant cues activate a cycle of cognitive, affective, and psychophysiological mechanisms, including dysregulated interactions between bottom-up and top-down neural processes, that compel the user to seek out and use drugs.

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Last Updated: 9/9/19