A study published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science found that people with addiction disorders who least take the future into account may, paradoxically, be the ones to benefit the most from certain treatments for their addiction. The unexpected correlation may provide guidance for the development and tailoring of more effective addiction treatments.
An important component of addiction is failure to exert self-control in recognition of future consequences. This behavior, known as future discounting, is strong in people with drug dependencies. But the researchers found that study subjects who exhibited the highest levels of future discounting also showed the best outcomes from effective treatment. The results suggest that a simple cognitive test that measures the degree to which individuals live in the moment could be of value in personalizing treatments for addiction, and achieving better outcomes. Read a news story about the study here.