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Addiction and Destructiveness

Jorge Palacios-Boix, Vincent Laliberté


Drug addiction has been studied in contemporary psychoanalytic literature,
yet its associated self-destructiveness has received less attention. Most of the
literature has focused on the compensatory role played by substance abuse
with regard to self-regulation and ego functions. A review of contributions
by authors who have discussed the destructive aspect is included in this article.
This is followed by clinical observations of this aspect emphasizing the
intra-psychic function played by self-destructiveness for individuals who
abuse substances despite their deleterious consequences. The authors illustrate
the importance of taking this function into account through a clinical
vignette. Finally, the discussion of the case leads to a further contribution to
this subject by linking it to the literature on sibling relations.


addiction, self-destructiveness, object-representation, siblings, drug abuse

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