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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2003 Jun;5(2):175-85.

Alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and mental disorders.

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FORENAP, Institute for Research in Neuroscience and Neuropsychiatry, Rouffach, France.


Alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine are the most widely consumed psychotropic drugs worldwide. They are largely consumed by normal individuals, but their use is even more frequent in psychiatric patients, Thus, patients with schizophrenia tend to abuse all three substances. The interrelationships between depression and alcohol are complex. These drugs can all create dependence, as understood in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV). Alcohol abuse is clearly deleterious to the brain, provoking acute and chronic mental disorders, ranging from intoxication with impairment of cognition, to delirium tremens, halluosis, and dementia. In contrast, the main health consequences of nicotine, notably cancer and cardiovascular disases, lie outside the realm of psychiatry However, the mes of nicotine dependence and motivation to smoke or quit are of concern to psychiatrists.


Withdrawal; alcohol; caffeine; dependence; depression; nicotine

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