Stress and Addiction

Biological and Psychological Mechanisms

Edited by

  • Mustafa al'Absi, Department of Behavioral Science, University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth, MN, USA

Stress is one of the most commonly reported precipitants of drug use and is considered the number one cause of relapse to drug abuse. For the past several decades, there have been a number of significant advances in research focusing on the neurobiological and psychosocial aspects of stress and addiction; along with this growth came the recognition of the importance of understanding the interaction of biological and psychosocial factors that influence risk for initiation and maintenance of addictive behaviors. Recent research has started to specifically focus on understanding the nature of how stress contributes to addiction - this research has influenced the way we think about addiction and its etiological factors and has produced exciting possibilities for developing effective intervention strategies; to date there has been no available book to integrate this literature. This highly focused work integrates and consolidates available knowledge to provide a resource for researchers and practitioners and for trainees in multiple fields. It will help neuroscientists, social scientists, and mental health providers in addressing the role of stress in addictive behaviors; the volume is also useful as a reference book for those conducting research in this field.
View full description


Clinicians and researchers in neuroscience, neurobiology, neurology, psychology, and medicine.


Book information

  • Published: December 2006
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-370632-4


"In summary, Stress and Addiction: Biological and Psychological Mechanisms is a useful book that provides an overview of the research on stress and addiction in a concise format that motivated readers can use as a starting point to track down more in-depth information in diverse areas. It works best as a reference resource. The writers of the individual chapters are knowledgeable and present research findings clearly. ... The book provides a balanced view in terms of presenting conflicting research findings, and it discusses limitations of instruments and study designs. This book achieves its goal of bringing together biological and psychological findings on the overlap of stress and addiction." --Michael Weaver, Virginia Commonwealth University, in SRNT (Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco) Newsletter May / June 2007, Volume 13, Number 2

Table of Contents

Foreword by George F. KoobSection I. Neurobiology of Stress and Addiction.Biological Bases of the Stress Response.The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis and Addiction.Dopaminergic Reward Pathways and Effects of Stress.Endogenous Opiates, Addiction, and the Stress Response.Early Life Stress and Vulnerability to Addiction.Genetics, Stress and the Risk for Addiction .Neurobiology of Stress and Risk for Relapse.Section II. Psychosocial Processes Related to Stress and Addiction.Negative Affect and Addiction. Stress and Impulsive Behaviors.Psychosocial Determinants of the Stress Response.Individual Differences in Response to Stress and Risk for Addiction.Addiction and Stress in Adolescents. Section III. Clinical Implications: Assessment and Intervention.The Assessment of Stress in Research and Clinical Settings.Assessment of Addictions in Clinical and Research Settings.Stress, Anxiety and Addiction: Intervention Strategies.Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Substance Use Disorders. Novel Pharmacologic treatment of Stress and Addiction: The Role of CRF and Glucocorticoid Antagonists. Future directions of research on stress and addictive behaviors.