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Addict Behav. 2001 May-Jun;26(3):461-7.

The relationship between self-reported cocaine withdrawal symptoms and history of depression.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, School of Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48207, USA.


This study examined the relationship between cocaine withdrawal and lifetime history of depression (major depression, dysthymia). Participants with a history of regular cocaine use (n = 146) were administered the Structured Clinical Interview for the DSM-IV (SCID) and were asked to recall whether they experienced any of the six DSM-IV cocaine withdrawal symptoms. Results of bivariate analyses demonstrated that those meeting criteria for the cocaine withdrawal syndrome (dysphoria plus two or more other symptoms), in comparison to those who did not, were significantly (P<.001) more likely to have a lifetime history of depression. Lifetime history of depression was also more common in those individuals reporting the withdrawal symptoms of "dysphoria" (P<.001), "insomnia/hypersomnia" (P<.05), "vivid unpleasant dreams" (P<.01), and "psychomotor agitation/retardation" (P<.01). These relationships remained significant after controlling for demographics, severity of addiction, and the presence of opiate, alcohol and cannabis dependence or abuse. The withdrawal symptoms of "fatigue" and "increased appetite" were not associated with mood history. Results suggest that lifetime history of depression is strongly related to whether or not a cocaine abuser self-reports withdrawal symptoms. Several competing hypotheses regarding the nature of this relationship are discussed.

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