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Home > Psychodynamics of drug dependence.

Blaine, Jack D and Julius, Demetrios A, eds. (1977) Psychodynamics of drug dependence. NIDA Research Monograph Series (12). New Jersey: Jason Aronson .

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Over the past two decades research in drug dependence has focused primarily on individual drugs-their pharmacokinetics, biochemical structure and physiological effects-or on their social impact, indicated by demographic variables used in epidemiologic studies and as parameters in treatment systems. Missing has been an equivalent emphasis at the level of the individual person, focused on the structure and dynamics of the total personality. We have adequate conceptual rubrics for capturing physical data and sociological data, but a comparative dearth of reliable rubrics for the data in between, at the level where a person directly experiences drug dependence.

We need research at this level in order to identify high risk traits that signal predilection to drug dependence, to organize traits for diagnosis, to indicate differential treatment regimens. Demographic variables such as age, sex, socioeconomic status, “religiosity,” parental drug use, appear to be significant indicators of varying degrees of drug abuse predilection. However, we don’t know why among people similarly at risk to a given drug, some will and some won’t become drug dependent. Differences in personality may make the difference.

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