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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2007 Jul 10;89(2-3):298-301. Epub 2007 Feb 5.

Difficulties in emotion regulation and impulse control during cocaine abstinence.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, Substance Abuse Center, Connecticut Mental Health Center, 34 Park Street, New Haven, CT 06519, USA. helen.fox@yale.edu

Abstract

RATIONALE:

Prior research has shown that cocaine dependence is associated with dysfunction of brain systems involved in emotions and motivational states.

OBJECTIVES:

To examine whether difficulties in emotion regulation are associated with early cocaine abstinence using the recently validated Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS).

METHOD:

Recently abstinent treatment-seeking cocaine patients (n=60) completed the DERS during their first week of inpatient treatment and at discharge (3-4 weeks later), and scores were compared with community controls (n=50).

RESULTS:

Compared with controls, cocaine-dependent individuals reported difficulties relating to understanding emotions, managing emotions and impulse control in the first week of abstinence. With continued abstinence, cocaine-dependent individuals showed continued difficulties only in impulse control.

CONCLUSION:

Cocaine-dependent individuals report emotion regulation difficulties, particularly during early abstinence. Additionally, protracted distress-related impulse control problems suggest potential relapse vulnerability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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