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Positive EmotionIntegrating the Light Sides and Dark Sides$
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June Gruber and Judith Tedlie Moskowitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199926725

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199926725.001.0001

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Positive Emotion

Positive Emotion

The Sirens’ Song of Substance Use and the Trojan Horse for Recovery from Addiction

(p.451) Chapter 24 Positive Emotion
Positive Emotion

Adam W. Carrico

Oxford University Press

The positive emotions that individuals derive from substance use likely promote continued recreational use. However, key neurobiological changes account for the development and maintenance of substance use disorders. Because individuals with substance use disorders are hyporesponsive to non-drug-related rewards, chronic deficits in positive emotions may be an important component of a larger pattern of cyclic emotional dysregulation that maintains addiction. Consequently, the capacity of individuals to experience positive emotions could represent a source of resilience that sensitizes individuals to non-drug-related rewards and buffers against deleterious effects of negative emotions on relapse. Lending support to this hypothesis, the limited clinical research conducted to date indicates that elevated positive emotions may predict better substance abuse treatment outcomes. In order to inform future clinical research, this chapter concludes by delineating theory-based pathways that may account for the effects of positive emotions on recovery from substance use disorders.

Keywords:   addiction, dependence, emotion regulation, hedonic, metacognitive awareness, mindfulness, negative emotion, positive emotion, stress, substance use

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