Behavioral addictions: A novel challenge for psychopharmacology

  • Marazziti D
  • Presta S
  • Baroni S
 et al. 
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Although addictive syndromes have been traditionally related to substance-use disorders, during the last few decades a novel addictive group, including the so-called “behavioral or no-drug addictions,” has been recognized and has attracted increasing attention for its relevant social impact. This group includes pathological gambling, compulsive shopping, TV/Internet/social network/videogame addictions, workaholism, sex and relationship addictions, orthorexia, and overtraining syndrome. Substance and behavioral addictions show similar phenomenological features, such as craving, dependence, tolerance, and abstinence, and perhaps they share a common possible pathophysiology. It is, however, controversial whether all or at least some of them should be considered real disorders or just normal, albeit extreme, behaviors. The aim of this article is to review current data on pharmacological treatment of behavioral addictions. As no specific and validated treatment algorithms are currently available, only an improved knowledge on their psychopathological, clinical, and neurobiological features may have relevant implications for more focused preventive and therapeutic strategies.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Behavioral addictions
  • Compulsive shopping
  • Orthorexia
  • Overtraining syndrome
  • Pathological gambling
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Sex and relationship addictions
  • TV/Internet/social network/videogame addictions
  • Workaholism

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  • Donatella Marazziti

  • Silvio Presta

  • Stefano Baroni

  • Stefano Silvestri

  • Liliana Dell'Osso

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