Emotional intelligence and addictions: a systematic review

Subst Use Misuse. 2010 Jun;45(7-8):1131-60. doi: 10.3109/10826080903567855.


Since the millennium, an expanding number of research articles have examined the relationship between emotional intelligence (EI) and physical and mental health. The relationship between EI and addictive disorders has, however, remained relatively well-hidden. We therefore systematically reviewed and critically evaluated the literature on this relationship. We identified 51 articles on the topic of which 36 fulfilled our inclusion criteria. Results indicate that a lower level of EI is associated with more intensive smoking, alcohol use, and illicit drug use and two components of EI play a key role in addictions: "decoding and differentiation of emotions" and "regulation of emotions."

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Behavior, Addictive*
  • Emotional Intelligence*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male