Impulsivity as a personality trait is a risk factor for the development and maintenance of cocaine and opioid dependence. The objective of this study is to analyze the relationship between impulsivity and addiction severity in cocaine and opioid dependent patients.
A cross-sectional, observational study of 526 patients with lifetime cocaine dependence (CD, n = 351), opiate dependence (OD, n = 51) and comorbid cocaine and opiate dependence (COD, n = 124) to throughout life, according to DSM-IV-TR, was conducted. The sample was recruited at the Addiction and Dual Diagnosis Unit of Vall d'Hebron University Hospital from January 2006 to April 2013. Patients were evaluated with the EuropASI, the SCID I and II interviews, and the Barratt Impulsivity Scale (BIS-11). Descriptive statistics of the main variables (including mean, standard deviation) was performed. Chi square test was used to compare categorical variables and Kruskal–Wallis test to compare continuous variables. Spearman correlation was used to analyze the relationship between EuropASI scores and BIS-11 scores.
The mean age of the patients was 36.37 years ± 8.08 (19–66). CD and COD were more impulsive and had higher addiction severity than OD. OD patients had worse medical status than CD and COD patients while COD patients had more severe drug use and legal problems than the other groups. However, impulsivity and addiction severity were only positively correlated in CD patients.
Impulsivity should be appropriately screened and addressed in cocaine dependents as it may be related to addiction severity.