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Am J Psychiatry. 1991 Dec;148(12):1708-11.

Cocaine-induced paranoia and psychosis proneness.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.



The aim of this study was to determine whether individuals who experience transient cocaine-induced paranoia are vulnerable to psychosis.


The subjects were 20 cocaine-dependent men who had been using more than 5 g of cocaine per week and were undergoing substance abuse treatment; half reported binge-limited cocaine-induced paranoia. The men were assessed with the Perceptual Aberration Scale and the Magical Ideation Scale, self-report measures of symptoms thought to precede the development of functional psychosis.


The combined scores on the Perceptual Aberration Scale and Magical Ideation Scale were strongly correlated with a history of cocaine-induced paranoia. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive power were 80.0%, 90.0%, 88.9%, and 81.8%, respectively.


Heavy cocaine users who experience transient paranoia while intoxicated may be at higher risk for development of psychosis than cocaine users who do not experience paranoia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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