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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2008 Oct;1139:458-65. doi: 10.1196/annals.1432.030.

Psychosocial withdrawal characteristics of nicotine compared with alcohol and caffeine.

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Department of Psychiatry, Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


The purpose of the present study was to observe the psychosocial characteristics of withdrawal from cigarette smoking in comparison with those from caffeine (CAF) and alcoholic (ALC) beverage withdrawal. Twenty-seven healthy volunteers at a medial level of dependence on both cigarettes (nicotine, NCT) and either CAF or ALC, as judged by the DSM-IV-TR criteria for substance dependence, participated in this study. The participants were required to abstain from smoking and either CAF or ALC for 7 days, each one after another, with a 7-day interval. The order of abstinence was counterbalanced among the participants. Psychosocial parameters, including a desire for substances, social activity function, well-being, withdrawal symptoms, and vital signs, were assessed during the withdrawal periods. The study protocol was approved by the Jikei University Review Board. The results indicated that there were no differences in the maximum level of desire for a substance and the influence on social activity function between NCT and other substances during the withdrawal periods. As for withdrawal symptoms, NCT caused a more intensive degree of irritability than CAF or ALC, and a more intensive degree of difficulty concentrating and restlessness than did withdrawal from ALC. However, the subjective well-being questionnaire indicated no differences in these symptoms between NCT and other substances. The present results suggest that there are no significant differences in psychosocial manifestations regarding the difficulty in abstaining from NCT, CAF, and ALC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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