Background: Although categorized as an impulse control disorder, kleptomania has many features in common with substance use disorders. Objectives: This paper sought to examine the mounting evidence supporting the phenomenological, clinical, epidemiological, and biological links between kleptomania and substance addictions. Methods: A review of the literature examining family history, genetics, comorbid psychiatric conditions, neuroimaging, and phenomenology was utilized to examine the relationship of kleptomania to substance addiction. Results: Kleptomania and substance addiction share common core qualities, including similar treatment successes, as well as etiologic and phenomenological similarities. Conclusions: Future research investigating the relationship between kleptomania and substance use disorders holds significant promise in advancing prevention and treatment strategies for addiction in general. Scientific Significance: Research investigating kleptomania (and other behavioral addictions) and its relationship to substance addiction holds significant promise in advancing prevention and treatment strategies for addiction in general.
- Impulse control disorders
- Substance use