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  • 1 University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • 2 Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Brussels, Belgium

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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