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      The self-medication hypothesis of addictive disorders: focus on heroin and cocaine dependence.

      The American journal of psychiatry
      American Psychiatric Association Publishing

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          Abstract

          Recent clinical observations and psychiatric diagnostic findings of drug-dependent individuals suggest that they are predisposed to addiction because they suffer with painful affect states and related psychiatric disorders. The drugs that addicts select are not chosen randomly. Their drug of choice is the result of an interaction between the psychopharmacologic action of the drug and the dominant painful feelings with which they struggle. Narcotic addicts prefer opiates because of their powerful muting action on the disorganizing and threatening affects of rage and aggression. Cocaine has its appeal because of its ability to relieve distress associated with depression, hypomania, and hyperactivity.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Am J Psychiatry
          The American journal of psychiatry
          American Psychiatric Association Publishing
          0002-953X
          0002-953X
          Nov 1985
          : 142
          : 11
          Article
          10.1176/ajp.142.11.1259
          3904487
          2de4476a-efeb-42b4-a166-115a4593b3a9
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