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October 1972

Chronic Hallucinogenic Drug Use and Thought Disturbance

Author Affiliations

New Haven, Conn
From the Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH (Dr. Tucker), the Department of Psychology, Yale University, (Dr. Quinlan), and the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn (Dr. Harrow).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;27(4):443-447. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750280013003

This study presents data gathered by standardized techniques of Rorschach evaluations of the thinking of hospitalized schizophrenic and nonschizophrenic drug abusers (mostly lysergic acid diethylamide [LSD]) compared to similar hospitalized psychiatric populations of nondrug users. The results showed a clear tendency for drug users regardless of diagnosis to have more signs of increased intrusion of primitive-drive material, higher penetration scores, and higher responsivity.

There were indications of conceptual boundary disturbance in the drug users although their scores on this variable were influenced by their increased responsivity. These select features of thinking and responsivity marked the drug users as different than other patients.

The length of drug use over time was more strongly related to these thinking disturbances than variety or amount of drug use.