Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Encephale. 2000 Jan-Feb;26(1):68-78.

[Addiction and personality].

[Article in French]

Author information

  • 1Laboratoire de Psychiatrie, Université Victor-Ségalen Bordeaux 2, France.


Within the field of substance abuse, it is now widely admitted that the addictive personality does not exist. No one personality type is predisposed to addiction. The predisposition to drug dependence involves many different factors: psychological, social, familial, biological. None of these factors can be the sole determinant of drug dependence. Keeping that in mind, it is of interest to review the recent data on the relationship between personality traits or disorders and opiate and cocaine dependence. Using DSM and ICD categorical assessment, no single personality disorder emerged, instead a range of personality disorders has been evaluated in opiate and cocaine dependent subjects. Every type of personality disorders (PD) existed but cluster BPD were the most common (especially antisocial personality disorder in opiate addicts). However, it is noteworthy that a large minority to a majority of subjects did not display any king of PD. The implication of these results is that antisocial PD is probably over-diagnosed in drug dependence clinical settings. The studies reviewed failed to demonstrate that personality disorders were strong predictors of outcome in opiate or cocaine dependence. However, opiate dependent PD subjects entering treatment had more severe problems and lower retention rate than non PD subjects. But the amount of improvement was not significantly different between PD subjects and non PD subjects. This demonstrated that substance dependent PD patients could benefit from treatment whose intensity and duration must be adjusted. There is good support for the idea that Sensation Seeking trait is a vulnerability factor to substance abuse. But after dependence develops, sensation seeking is probably irrelevant to continued use of the drugs. This break between the psychopathology of vulnerability of substance abuse and the psychopathology of dependence raises the question of the existence of dramatically different factors involved in both phases of addiction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center