Get Alert
Please Wait... Processing your request... Please Wait.
You must sign in to sign-up for alerts.

Please confirm that your email address is correct, so you can successfully receive this alert.

Special Articles   |    
Should protracted withdrawal from drugs be included in DSM-IV?
Am J Psychiatry 1993;150:695-704.
text A A A
PDF of the full text article.

OBJECTIVE: The authors reviewed both clinical data and selected laboratory research related to withdrawal from alcohol, opiates, and stimulants in order to draw a conclusion about whether the phenomenon of protracted withdrawal exists and should be included in DSM-IV. METHOD: Studies were located through computerized searches and reference sections of published articles. RESULTS: Symptoms extending beyond the period of acute withdrawal in alcohol and opiate dependence have been fairly consistently described; this is not the case with cocaine. Nevertheless, protracted alcohol and opiate withdrawal has not been conclusively demonstrated because of the failure of studies to do multiple time point sampling, to use standardized instruments and control groups, and to re-administer the substance in an attempt to suppress withdrawal symptoms. Further, the concept of protracted withdrawal itself is ambiguously defined. This confounds interpretation of the literature and precludes derivation of a unified concept of the term, which would be necessary for adding the diagnosis to DSM-IV. CONCLUSIONS: There is insufficient documentation to justify inclusion of protracted withdrawal in DSM-IV because of methodologic limitations of the studies and lack of consensus definition of the term itself. An outline for conceptualizing protracted withdrawal is offered in which the symptoms can be seen as: 1) a global post-use syndrome, 2) attenuated physiologic rebound, 3) toxic residuals, 4) expression of preexisting symptoms unmasked by cessation of use. Future efforts to identify signs and symptoms of protracted withdrawal should carefully define the parameters of the syndrome.

Abstract Teaser
Figures in this Article

Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.
Sign In Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.
Sign In to Access Full Content
Sign in via Athens (What is this?)
Athens is a service for single sign-on which enables access to all of an institution's subscriptions on- or off-site.
Not a subscriber?

Subscribe Now/Learn More

PsychiatryOnline subscription options offer access to the DSM-5 library, books, journals, CME, and patient resources. This all-in-one virtual library provides psychiatrists and mental health professionals with key resources for diagnosis, treatment, research, and professional development.

Need more help? PsychiatryOnline Customer Service may be reached by emailing PsychiatryOnline@psych.org or by calling 800-368-5777 (in the U.S.) or 703-907-7322 (outside the U.S.).




CME Activity

There is currently no quiz available for this resource. Please click here to go to the CME page to find another.
Submit a Comments
Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discertion of APA editorial staff.

* = Required Field
(if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
Example: John Doe

Web of Science® Times Cited: 89

Related Content
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment, 4th Edition > Chapter 18.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment, 4th Edition > Chapter 18.  >
DSM-5™ Clinical Cases > Chapter 16.  >
DSM-5™ Clinical Cases > Chapter 7.  >
DSM-5™ Clinical Cases > Chapter 19.  >
Topic Collections
Psychiatric News