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Drug Alcohol Depend. 1999 Mar 1;54(1):19-33.

Attentional functioning in abstinent cocaine abusers.

Author information

  • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, USA. hornermd@musc.edu


The effect of chronic cocaine use on attention is directly relevant to the treatment of cocaine dependence, since attention underlies most other cognitive processes, and thus the ability to profit from cognitively-based interventions. This paper reviews 17 studies examining attention in patients with cocaine abuse or dependence. Findings have been inconsistent, largely due to various methodological difficulties. There has been some suggestion of reduced cognitive speed, while focused and sustained attention have generally been unimpaired. Divided attention has been largely unexplored. Thus, there is insufficient evidence either to accept or reject the hypothesis of attentional dysfunction associated with chronic cocaine use.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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