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Compulsivity and Obsessionality in Opioid Addiction


The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: March 2000 - Volume 188 - Issue 3 - p 155-162

Seventy-one individuals with opioid dependence undergoing ambulatory treatment participated in a personal interview assessing the importance of their opioid-use rituals, the severity of compulsivity and obsessionality in relation to their drug use, and the number of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms. The level of compulsivity and obsessionality in opioid dependence was comparable to that found in OCD and alcohol addiction. The importance of rituals was inversely related to the number of opioid lapses during rehabilitation treatment and positively correlated with the number of non-drug-related OCD symptoms. Based on established norms for OCD symptoms, we estimated that 11.4% of our sample would meet diagnostic criteria for OCD, a rate which is over 4 times higher than the rate of OCD in the general population.

1 Department of Psychology, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel. Send reprint requests to Dr. Dar.

The study was supported by a grant from the Anti Drug Authority of Israel. It was conducted at the "Drug Abuse Rehabilitation Center" in Jaffa, of the Israeli Ministry of Health, with the help and support of the center's manager and staff.

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.