Introduction: Adolescence is a vulnerable age for experimenting with drugs, unfortunately early substance abuse has severe detrimental effects on cognitive functioning. Moreover, drug addiction is also characterized by affective dysregulation, in terms of high rates of sensation-seeking and alexithymia and poor emotional intelligence. Cognitive control and emotion regulation abilities are directly associated and are largely implemented by the same frontal cortex areas, which are also the main target of drug abuse. Objective: The present research aims to study the neuropsychological performance and the emotional functioning in young drug addicts, investigating possible interrelations between these two domains. Methods: a battery of neuropsychological tests (ENB-2) and self-report tools, addressing alexithymia (TAS-20), sensation seeking (SSS-VI) and emotional intelligence (EQ-i), were administered to 19 young drug-addicts. An observer scale to evaluate alexithymia (OAS) was also used. Results: subjects showed memory and attention deficits. High rates of alexithymia emerged, but only in the observer scale; also past experience of disinhibition and inadequate emotional intelligence abilities were identified. Several significant correlations were detected between cognitive functions and affective style, especially as regards executive functions and alexithymia. Conclusions: These findings suggest that drug-dependence in young age is not only characterized by neuropsychological deficits and difficulties in emotion regulations, but these two domains are associated, delineating a severe clinical conditions that requires specific treatment.

Cognitive and Emotional Functioning in Young Drug-addicts. Preliminary findings

PAROLIN, MICOL;SIMONELLI, ALESSANDRA;MAPELLI, DANIELA;
2014

Abstract

Introduction: Adolescence is a vulnerable age for experimenting with drugs, unfortunately early substance abuse has severe detrimental effects on cognitive functioning. Moreover, drug addiction is also characterized by affective dysregulation, in terms of high rates of sensation-seeking and alexithymia and poor emotional intelligence. Cognitive control and emotion regulation abilities are directly associated and are largely implemented by the same frontal cortex areas, which are also the main target of drug abuse. Objective: The present research aims to study the neuropsychological performance and the emotional functioning in young drug addicts, investigating possible interrelations between these two domains. Methods: a battery of neuropsychological tests (ENB-2) and self-report tools, addressing alexithymia (TAS-20), sensation seeking (SSS-VI) and emotional intelligence (EQ-i), were administered to 19 young drug-addicts. An observer scale to evaluate alexithymia (OAS) was also used. Results: subjects showed memory and attention deficits. High rates of alexithymia emerged, but only in the observer scale; also past experience of disinhibition and inadequate emotional intelligence abilities were identified. Several significant correlations were detected between cognitive functions and affective style, especially as regards executive functions and alexithymia. Conclusions: These findings suggest that drug-dependence in young age is not only characterized by neuropsychological deficits and difficulties in emotion regulations, but these two domains are associated, delineating a severe clinical conditions that requires specific treatment.
The 2nd international virtual Scientific Conference
9788055408910
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/2888501
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