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Emotion dysregulation in addiction


Several decades of scientific research provide strong evidence that individuals who suffer from emotion dysregulation, such as that observed in depression and anxiety, are more vulnerable to addictive behavior. Furthermore, a growing body of studies indicates that chronic use of addictive substances dysregulates emotional responding. Emerging research also suggests that recurrent drug use and addiction are associated with deficits in the capacity to proactively regulate negative and positive emotions.

This chapter synthesizes evidence from clinical and neuroscientific studies on effects of addictive behavior (including misuse of prescription opioids, addiction to cigarettes, and addiction to more powerful stimulants) on emotion dysregulation to outline an integrative model of emotion dysregulation in addiction. This model has implications for treatment development and further scientific investigation.


Garland, E. L., Bell S., Atchley R., & Froeliger B. (2018). Emotion dysregulation in addiction. In S. Crowell & T. Beauchaine (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Emotion Dysregulation, New York: Oxford University Press.

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Last Updated: 12/12/23