Lecture – The Role of Stress and Distress Tolerance in Substance Use Disorders

Available with English captions.

Presented by R. Kathryn McHugh, PhD, McLean Hospital – Jack H. Mendelson Memorial Research Award

Substance use disorders are characterized not only by dysfunction in positive reinforcement and reward seeking, but also dysfunction in negative reinforcement and stress responsivity.

In this presentation, McHugh discusses the role of stress and distress tolerance in substance use disorders, including implications for improving treatment approaches through personalization.

Watch now to learn more about:

  • Distress tolerance and its impact on substance use behaviors
  • The link between negative affect and motivation for substance use
  • Targets for improving behavioral treatment for substance use disorders

About Dr. McHugh

R. Kathryn McHugh, PhD, is the chief of psychology and director of the Stress, Anxiety, and Substance Use Laboratory at McLean Hospital. She is also an associate professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. McHugh engages in clinical and translational research focusing on the nature and treatment of anxiety and addiction. She is particularly interested in the study of affective vulnerability factors, such as distress intolerance and stress reactivity, that are common across psychological disorders, with a focus on those that can be modified with treatment. Dr. McHugh is a practicing psychologist, specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy for depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders.