Affective Changes in Chronic Opiate Use

H. B. McNamee, S. M. Mirin, J. C. Kuehnle, R. E. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


As part of a programme to investigate the therapeutic potential of narcotic antagonists, thirteen detoxified heroin addicts were studied in an experimental situation where using operant techniques they were allowed largely self‐regulated access to heroin for a ten day period. Changes in psychiatric status were assessed using a structured interview schedule. The early effect of the heroin was to produce a decrease in somatic concern, anxiety and depression, but continuing use of the opiate produced significant increases in these variables and also an increase in social isolation and retardation. Heroin in the short term may relieve an addict's inner tensions as commonly assumed, but chronic use is a predominantly dysphoric experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-280
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Addiction to Alcohol & Other Drugs
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1976

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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