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May 1955

Drug Addiction in the Involutional Period: Report of Four Cases

Author Affiliations

Fort Worth, Texas; Belmont, Calif.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1955;73(5):557-559. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1955.02330110073010

In four years' experience * with narcotic addicts we have become aware of a particular clinical picture involving drug addiction which seems of sufficient significance and interest from a theoretical and practical standpoint to warrant a short preliminary report.

Among those patients routinely admitted to this hospital for the treatment of drug addiction, a certain number have been observed to have the following history and clinical characteristics: These patients, generally men in our experience, are in the involutional age group and have previously made a reasonably acceptable professional or semiprofessional adjustment with satisfactory sustaining interpersonal relationships. Following certain traumatic emotional experiences, in some way involving disruption of this previous pattern, a depressive reaction occurs in which the usual psychological symptoms and physiological concomitants of depression are seen. In the course of development of this clinical picture these persons encounter drugs, generally fortuitously, and utilize them as a defense against their anxiety

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