Comparative study of alexithymia and anger dimensions in two groups with dependency to opioids and stimulants with the healthy counterparts

Document Type : Research Paper


1 MA. in clinical psychology, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Islamic Azad University, Semnan Science Research Center, Semnan, Iran

2 MA. in clinical psychology, Faculty of Literature, Humanities and Social Sciences, Islamic Azad University, Research Branch, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant professor of psychology, Semnan Islamic Azad University, Semnan, Iran


Introduction: The studies performed in the field of addiction emphasize that in addition to medical interventions, addiction treatment will not be possible without paying attention to the psychological factors. So, the present study has compared alexithymia and the anger dimensions in two groups with dependency to opioids and stimulants with the healthy counterparts.                                                                                 
Materials and Methods: In thiscausal-comparative study in 2016, 120 cases were assessed. 80 cases of Delshodegan Center in Tehran placed in two groups with dependency to opioids (n=40) and stimulants (n=40) and non-dependent ones (n=40) were placed in matched groups in terms of demographic characteristics. Data collected through Toronto Alexithymia Scale and the Spielberger State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI) and analyzed by multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA).
Results:There were significant differences among the three groups of healthy, dependent to stimulants and opioids in alexithymia (P<0.01, F=8.17) and anger (P<0.01, F=7.20). Amongst them, opioid addicts report high levels of alexithymia and anger.
Conclusion: There is difference among the three groups of healthy people, dependents to stimulants and opioids in terms of alexithymia and anger rates. Meanwhile, it seems that the opioid addicts have more anger and alexithymia compared to healthy and dependents to stimulants.


Main Subjects

  1. Tsemberis S. Housing first: The pathways model to end homelessness for people with mental illness and addiction manual. Hazelden; 2010: 28-33.
  2. Baer JS, Rosengren DB, Dunn CW, Wells EA, Ogle RL, Hartzler B. An evaluation of workshop training in motivational interviewing for addiction and mental health clinicians. Subst Alcohol Depend 2004; 73(1): 99-106.
  3. Van Wormer K, Davis DR. Addiction treatment. Cengage Learning; 2016: 48-68.
  4. Galanter M. Innovations: alcohol and substance abuse: spirituality in Alcoholics Anonymous: a valuable adjunct to psychiatric services. Psychiatr Serv 2006; 57(3): 307-9.
  5. Khodadadi A, Ekhtiari H. [Cortical excitability measures; objective evaluation of neurochemical changes in substance abuse and dependence]. Journal of addiction 2009; 9: 9-28. (Persian)
  6. Carruth B, Wallen J. Addiction in human development: Developmental perspectives on addiction and recovery. USA: Routledge; 2014: 887-99.
  7. Robinson TE, Berridge KC. The psychology and neurobiology of addiction: an incentive–sensitization view. Addiction 2000; 95(8s2): 91-117.
  8. Koob GF. Negative reinforcement in substance addiction: the darkness within. Curr Opin Neurobiol 2013; 31(4): 559-63.
  9. Walters ST, Rotgers F. Treating substance abuse: Theory and technique. USA: Guilford; 2012: 443-59.
  10. Cuomo C, Sarchiapone M, Di Giannantonio M, Mancini M, Roy A. Aggression, impulsivity, personality traits, and childhood trauma of prisoners with substance abuse and addiction. Am J Subst Alcohol Abuse 2008; 34(3): 339-45.
  11. Khalatbari J, Bazarganiyan N. [Comparison the depression, anxiety and stress in intravenous substance abusers, with and without HIV/AIDS]. Journal of Guilan University of Medical Sciences 2011; 20: 76-83. (Persian)
  12. De Mojá CA, Spielberger CD. Anger and substance addiction. Psychol Rep 1997; 81(1): 152-4.
  13. Bagby RM, Parker JD, Taylor GJ. The twenty-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale-I. Item selection and cross-validation of the factor structure. J Psychol Res 1994; 38(1): 23-32.
  14. Thorberg FA, Young RM, Sullivan KA, Lyvers M, Connor JP, Feeney GF. A psychometric comparison of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and the Observer Alexithymia Scale (OAS) in an alcohol-dependent sample. Pers Individ Diff 2010; 49(2): 119-23.
  15. Besharat MA. Relationship of alexithymia with coping styles and interpersonal problems. Procedia-Soc Behav Sci 2010; 1(5): 614-8.
  16. Spielberger CD. State‐Trait anger expression inventory. USA: John Wiley Sons, Inc; 1999: 997-1011.
  17. Akbari Shaye Y, Vatankhah M, Zargar Y, Teymouri B, Ahmadian A. [Relationship between personality traits (neuroticism, agreeableness) sensation seeking, alexithymia and coping styles for addiction potential students in Ferdowsi University of Mashhad]. Journal of Ilam University of Medical Sciences 2013; 4: 163-79. (Persian)
  18. Besharat MA, Nezhad EM, Lavasani MG. [The mediating role of cognitive emotion regulation strategies on the relationship between alexithymia, anger and anger rumination with ego defense styles. J Contemp Psychol 2015; 9(2): 29-48. (Persian)
  19. Aharonovich E, Nguyen HT, Nunes EV. Anger and depressive states among treatment‐seeking substance abusers: Testing the psychopharmacological specificity hypothesis. Am J Addict 2001; 10(4): 327-34.
  20. Abolghasemi A, Kiamarsi A, Momeni S. [Comparison of the nature and character of substance addicts and non-addicts]. Journal of substance abuse addiction studies 2013; 7: 125-36. (Persian)
  21. Madanifar M, Namai M. [Emotional disorders and Strategies for coping with stress in methadone-treated addicts]. Journal of Birjand Univedrsity of of Medical Sciences 2018; 24(2): 126-35. (Persian)
  22. Bagian Kolamarz M, Narimani M, Soltani S, Mehrabi A. [Comparison of emotional deficits and emotional control in substance abusers and healthy people]. Journal of addiction studies 2015; 8: 131-47. (Persian)
  23. Mohammadifar M, Zarei E, Najafi M, Manteghi M. [Comparison of borderline personality traits, anger, hostility and aggression in addicts with and without suicidal ideation]. Journal of addiction research 2014; 7(4): 23-31. (Persian)