An analysis of cue reactivity among persons with and without schizophrenia who are addicted to cocaine.
OBJECTIVE: Persons with schizophrenia who are addicted to cocaine experience more psychiatric and substance abuse relapses and worse long-term outcomes than persons with only one of these conditions. This study examined whether individuals with cocaine dependence and schizophrenia experience more cue-elicited craving than those without schizophrenia. METHODS: Ninety-one cocaine-dependent participants who had been abstinent from cocaine for at least 72 hours were recruited from substance abuse treatment programs in the Veterans Affairs New Jersey Health Care System. The study used a cue-exposure paradigm to stimulate cocaine craving. A self-report instrument was used to measure changes from baseline in four areas: craving intensity, happy or depressed mood, increased or decreased energy, and physical health or sickness. RESULTS: The participants with schizophrenia (N=35) reported significantly more cocaine craving than those without schizophrenia (N=56). When data for participants who were cue reactive were analyzed without regard to diagnosis, 97 percent of the cocaine-dependent participants with schizophrenia were cue reactive, compared with 43 percent of those without schizophrenia. CONCLUSIONS: Future research on cocaine dependence should focus on craving, particularly among patients with coexisting psychiatric disorders.
Smelson, DA; Losonczy, MF; Kilker, C; Starosta, A; Kind, J; Williams, J; Ziedonis, D
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