Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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ARTICLE
Year : 1995  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 17-22

The Sensation - Seeker who is also Alienated : Towards a New Hypothesis for Genesis of Opiate Addiction


1 Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh 160012, India
2 Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh 160012, India

Correspondence Address:
Debasish Basu
Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh 160012
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 21743709

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The aim of the study was to assess two psychological parameters, sensation-seeking (SS) and alienation (AL), in a sample of thirty DSM-1II diagnosed opiate dependence cases, and to compare them on these two parameters with two non-drug-abusing control groups, one from the patients' own peer groups and the other from the general population. The opiate dependent subjects were found to score higher both on SS and AL than those in the control groups. Further, there was a gradient of the degree of correlation between these two psychological variables amongst the three groups studied. The opiate dependent group showed the highest positive correlation. The general population control group showed the lowest degree of correlation, and the self-matched control group was intermediate. These findings are consonant with an "SS-AL combination" hypothesis for the genesis of opiate addiction. Briefly, the hypothesis states that a higher sensation-seeking need, coupled with an inability to meet this need through socially sanctioned channels, leads on to repeated experiences with drug taking behavior, thus fostering dependence. The present study provides preliminary data supporting this hypothesis.



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