Psychopathology and Mood During Heroin Use: Acute vs Chronic Effects

Steven M. Mirin, Roger E. Meyer, H. Brian Mcnamee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


In the context of evaluating the effects of a narcotic antagonist on opiate acquisition, 14 detoxified addicts self-administered increasing doses of unblocked heroin intravenously over a ten-day period. Early in the addiction cycle, subjects experienced tension relief and euphoria but this was followed shortly by a shift in the direction of increasing dysphoria and psychopathology. Nonetheless, individual injections of the drug continued to induce brief episodes of positive mood, an effect enhanced by frequent injection. Heroin self-administration was sharply reduced when subjects were blocked with naltrexone, a narcotic antagonist, and the negative effects observed during unblocked drug use were not observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1503-1508
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of General Psychiatry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1976

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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