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Sante Ment Que. 1998 Spring;23(1):214-34.

[Psychodynamic approach to the addictive personality structure specific for alcohol and hard drugs].

[Article in French]

Author information

  • 1l'Université Laval.


The overconsumption of psychotropic substances is a major problem for contemporary societies. In the USA, 14.1% of the population between the age 15 and 54 have experienced addiction problems to alcohol during their lives while as 7.5% are addicted for life to other drugs (cannabis, cocaine, stimulants, etc). Many studies report that excessive consumption of alcohol, with or without illegal drug use, is associated to social conditions favoring the development of psychological distress and isolation. Although there are many studies on the differences between personality traits of alcoholics and drug users, few authors have examined the possibility to bring to the fore a specificity between the personality structures of the alcoholic and the drug user from a psychodynamic approach. This exploratory review of literature, first presents studies already conducted in order to identify common or distinct personality features for these types of addition. This article then reviews psychodynamic writings examining the possibility of a structural organization that is specific to addiction. Finally, the authors propose a few thoughts allowing to postulate on the existence of a structural organization specific to these two types of addiction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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