There is a disproportionate focus on pain over pleasure in policy-relevant research on drugs. This is unfortunate because theories of and findings on drug-involved pleasure can be used to inform knowledge of drug-involved pain. The cross-fertilization of theories and findings is bolstered by the availability of a conceptual framework that links drug-involved pain and pleasure in a comprehensive, powerful, simple, and instrumental manner. This article proposes such a framework. It consists of four types of drug-involved pain and pleasure: drug-specific corporal; drug-related corporal; economic; and, social. This quaternary scheme is illustrated with findings from four literatures, namely those on methamphetamine use; alcohol-related sexual contact among college students; resource transfer among drug users and dealers; and, relational and communal issues related to drugs. The article concludes with implications for the field.
Jacques, Scott. 2019. Bentham, Not Epicurus: The Relevance of Pleasure to Studies of Drug-Involved Pain. Journal of Drug Issues 49:118-138.