June 1992

Contrast of Treatment-Seeking and Untreated Cocaine Abusers

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1992;49(6):464-471. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1992.01820060044007

• Eighty-nine cocaine abusers seeking treatment were compared with 89 untreated cocaine abusers recruited through chain referral. The community users reported significantly higher levels of polysubstance abuse, fewer negative consequences of cocaine use, lower levels of participation in adult social roles, and greater involvement with the legal system and illegal activities. The two groups were found to be comparable on measures of severity of cocaine use, utilization of self-control strategies to restrict cocaine use, and rates of current and lifetime psychiatric disorders. Findings suggest that high rates of psychiatric comorbidity among cocaine abusers are not uniquely a feature of clinical populations. Moreover, many of the untreated cocaine abusers were found to be heavy users who might benefit from treatment but who tended to minimize the negative consequences of their cocaine use and who lacked support and pressure to enter treatment.