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July 1956

Reserpine in the Postwithdrawal Rehabilitation of Adolescent Opiate Addicts

Author Affiliations

Bronx, N. Y.

From Riverside Hospital, North Brothers Island.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1956;76(1):106-108. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1956.02330250108016

Reserpine (Serpasil, Ciba brand) has been a helpful adjunct to the treatment of a variety of psychiatric conditions.1 Along with its reported tranquilizing effect, it is said to improve readiness for treatment and/or pyschotherapeutic communications. This note reports an exploratory study of the efficacy of this drug in the postwithdrawal rehabilitation of male adolescent opiate addicts.

These patients have serious emotional problems.2 Some of the prominent features noted in this group of patients for which reserpine is a plausible medication are resentment, suppressed hostility, dysphoria, and denial of need for treatment despite evident difficulties in living and overt psychiatric symptomatology. We wished to determine whether reserpine would "tranquilize" these patients and/or enhance their acceptance of the therapeutic program of the institution.

Control and experimental patients were selected randomly one month after withdrawal of opiates had been completed. The patients were given 1 mg. of the drug by mouth

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