Behavioral assessment of narcotic detoxification fear.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)

Recent data reveal that only a small number of opioid addicts who attempt to detoxify from methadone maintenance programs will be successful. An irrational fear of detoxification has been postulated to be one reason for detoxification not being more efficacious. The present investigation attempted to assess both self-report and psychophysiological responses to detoxification and neutral scenes in two groups of persons on methadone maintenance. The two groups (N = 8 each) were selected by two blind interviewers as either having or not having a detoxification fear. After imagery training, subjects were asked to imagine 10 scenes, alternating between neutral and detoxification scenes with random counterbalancing for order, while the psychophysiological dependent measures and self-report anxiety and clarity ratings were assessed. Some of the self-report and psychophysiological measures were significantly different for scene type, indicating a successful manipulation of scene imagery. Further, pulse volume measures indicated greater activation in the fear group than in the non-fear group to the detoxification scenes. The results are discussed in terms of providing evidence for greater activation, presumably due to greater anxiety, for the detoxification fear subjects than the non-fear subjects specific to the detoxification imagery and in terms of potential treatment implications.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Raczynski, JM; Wiebe, DJ; Milby, JB; Gurwitch, RH

Published Date

  • 1988

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 165 - 169

PubMed ID

  • 3369324

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0306-4603

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0306-4603(88)90006-8


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England