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Recent Dev Alcohol. 1992;10:73-87.

Emergency room evaluation of cocaine-associated neuropsychiatric disorders.

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Department of Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance 90509.


The widespread abuse of cocaine has produced an alarming number of cocaine-related emergency room visits in the last several years. The authors discuss the various issues involved in emergency rom evaluation of patients who abuse cocaine and manifest signs and symptoms suggesting neuropsychiatric disease. Appropriate triage is emphasized, and a discussion of impediments to the accurate assessment of these patients ensues. The unique features of cocaine-induced mood, psychotic, and organic disorders are then detailed and contrasted with other functional and organic disorders. Strategies for the emergency room treatment of patients exhibiting symptomatology consistent with cocaine intoxication and withdrawal are outlined. The issues of psychiatric comorbidity and dual diagnosis in the cocaine-abusing population are examined. In addition, the neurological complications associated with the use of cocaine are reviewed. Finally, emerging data from single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) analysis of cocaine abusers is reported.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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