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Changes in Mood, Craving, and Sleep During Short-term Abstinence Reported by Male Cocaine Addicts A Controlled, Residential Study

William W. Weddington, MD; Barry S. Brown, PhD; Charles A. Haertzen, PhD; Edward J. Cone, PhD; Elizabeth M. Dax, MD, PhD; Ronald I. Herning, PhD; Barry S. Michaelson, MA
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990;47(9):861-868. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1990.01810210069010.
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• We examined changes over 28 days in mood states, craving for cocaine, and sleep during short-term abstinence reported by 12 male, predominantly intravenous-using, cocaine-addicted subjects residing in a research facility. For comparison, we examined 10 nonaddicted control subjects. There were no significant differences between cocaine addicts and controls regarding demographics and selected DSM-III-R diagnoses other than psychoactive substance use disorder and antisocial personality disorder. There were significantly higher scores of psychiatric symptoms reported by cocaine addicts 1 week before admission. Mood-distress and depression scores recorded at admission and during short-term abstinence were significantly greater than those reported by controls. Addicts' mood-distress scores and craving for cocaine were greatest at admission and decreased gradually and steadily during the 28-day study. There were no significant differences between groups regarding reports of sleep other than difficulty falling asleep and clearheadedness on arising. Although there were significant differences in resting heart rate at admission and over time, there were no significant differences in weight gain or blood pressure. Given the absence of a classic "withdrawal" pattern, "short-term abstinence" may be a more appropriate classification of psychological and physical phenomena experienced by cocaine addicts who initiate abstinence in a controlled environment.


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