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Journal: European addiction research


Background: Previous studies on Internet addiction point towards a particular constellation of personality traits and deficits in social competence of players addicted to massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), which are hypothesized to result from impairments in self-concept. The aim of this study was to examine differences in self-concept and degree of avatar identification in World of Warcraft addicted, non-addicted and naive (nonexperienced) participants. Methods: Participants (n = 45) completed interviews and self-report questionnaires on social, emotional and physical aspects of self-concept. Attributes of participants' ‘actual self’, ‘ideal self’ and their avatar were assessed using the Giessen test. The extent of avatar identification was examined by assessing differences between ‘ideal self’ and avatar evaluations. Results: In contrast to nonaddicted and naive participants, addicted players showed a more negative body appraisal and lower self-esteem as well as lower permeability, social response, general mood and social potency on the Giessen test subscales. They further showed significantly lower discrepancies between ‘ideal self’ and avatar ratings on nearly all Giessen test subscales. Discussion: The results point towards impairments in self-concept and a higher degree in avatar identification in addicted MMORPG players compared to the remaining participants. These results could have important implications for the treatment of addicted MMORPG players.

Concepts: Personality psychology, Addiction, Video game genres, Massively multiplayer online game, Role-playing game, World of Warcraft, Massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Online game


Maltreatment in childhood and adolescence is a risk factor for substance use disorders (SUDs) in adulthood. This association has rarely been investigated in the light of emotion dysregulation. To fill this gap, this study examines emotion dysregulation and SUDs among adults with a history of early maltreatment.

Concepts: Avicenna, Childhood, Physical dependence, Substance abuse, Adult, Coming of age, Adulthood, Emotional dysregulation


Background: An international expert panel convened by the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs developed a multi-criteria decision analysis model of the relative importance of different types of harm related to the use of nicotine-containing products. Method: The group defined 12 products and 14 harm criteria. Seven criteria represented harms to the user, and the other seven indicated harms to others. The group scored all the products on each criterion for their average harm worldwide using a scale with 100 defined as the most harmful product on a given criterion, and a score of zero defined as no harm. The group also assessed relative weights for all the criteria to indicate their relative importance. Findings: Weighted averages of the scores provided a single, overall score for each product. Cigarettes (overall weighted score of 100) emerged as the most harmful product, with small cigars in second place (overall weighted score of 64). After a substantial gap to the third-place product, pipes (scoring 21), all remaining products scored 15 points or less. Interpretation: Cigarettes are the nicotine product causing by far the most harm to users and others in the world today. Attempts to switch to non-combusted sources of nicotine should be encouraged as the harms from these products are much lower. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Concepts: Decision making software, Scores


This paper examines the addictive potential of 8 different Internet applications, distinguishing male and female users. Moreover, differential correlates of problematic use are investigated in Internet gamers (IG) and generalized Internet users (GIU).


Smartphone users engage extensively with their devices, on an intermittent basis for short periods of time. These patterns of behaviour have the potential to make mobile gambling especially perseverative. This paper reports the first empirical study of mobile gambling in which a simulated gambling app was used to measure gambling behaviour in phases of acquisition and extinction. We found that participants showed considerable perseverance in the face of continued losses that were linearly related to their prior engagement with the app. Latencies between gambles were associated with the magnitude of reinforcement; more positive outcomes were associated with longer breaks between play and a greater propensity to end a gambling session. Greater latencies were associated with measurements of problem gambling, and perseverance with gambling-related cognitions and sensation-seeking behaviour.


Cancers constitute a major non-communicable disease category globally and in the European Union (EU).


Many studies have examined factors associated with the first onset of cannabis use and abuse. Currently, there is relatively little research regarding conditions under which cannabis dependence is more likely to emerge. Although previous studies have examined different potential determinants of cannabis dependence, to our knowledge, a systematic review is lacking.

Concepts: Scientific method, Philosophy, Plato


Childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a risk factor for substance misuse and substance use disorder (SUD) in adolescence and (early) adulthood. ADHD and SUD also frequently co-occur in treatment-seeking adolescents, which complicates diagnosis and treatment and is associated with poor treatment outcomes. Research on the effect of treatment of childhood ADHD on the prevention of adolescent SUD is inconclusive, and studies on the diagnosis and treatment of adolescents with ADHD and SUD are scarce. Thus, the available evidence is generally not sufficient to justify robust treatment recommendations.


Adult attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often co-occurs with substance use disorders (SUD) and is associated with early onset and more severe development of SUD and with reduced treatment effectiveness. Screening tools allow for a good recognition of possible ADHD in adults with SUD and should be used routinely, followed by an ADHD diagnostic process initiated as soon as possible. Simultaneous and integrated treatment of ADHD and SUD, using a combination of pharmaco- and psychotherapy, is recommended. Long-acting methylphenidate, extended-release amphetamines, and atomoxetine with up-titration to higher dosages may be considered in patients unresponsive to standard doses. This paper includes evidence- and consensus-based recommendations developed to provide guidance in the screening, diagnosis and treatment of patients with ADHD-SUD comorbidity.

Concepts: Attention, Dopamine receptor, Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Mental disorder, Dopamine, Methylphenidate, Amphetamine, Atomoxetine


This paper explores European and national trends in specialised drug treatment entry for cannabis-related problems. The analysis is based on data for the years 2003-2014 from 22 European countries. Between 2003 and 2014, the overall number and proportion of primary cannabis-related first-time entrants increased significantly. A joinpoint regression analysis indicates that the overall increase of cannabis treatment entries is continuous, although country-related differences are observed. Possible explanations for the increase and different time trends are discussed including an increase in cannabis prevalence and cannabis-related problems, changes in risk perception, increases in cannabis potency, changes in referral practices and increased availability and accessibility of treatment services.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Statistics, Risk, Portugal, Europe, Phenomenon, Regression toward the mean