Behavioral and psychological profiles of cocaine users upon treatment entry: Ethnic comparisons

Felipe Castro, E. H. Barrington, E. V. Sharp, L. S. Dial, B. Wang, R. Rawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This descriptive study examined the health-related profile of 112 regular users of cocaine who were recently admitted to an inpatient or to an outpatient drug treatment program. Subjects reported on their health status during the days immediately preceding their entry into treatment. The health profile of these addicted cocaine users was examined in terms of behavioral, psychological and psychiatric measures of health, A lifestyle shift hypothesis was examined in these addicted cocaine users using norms from non-addicted 'episodic' cocaine users for the behavioral and psychological measures, while using psychiatric norms for the psychiatric measures. This lifestyle shift hypothesis postulates illness progression with greater levels of addiction, a progression manifested by greater severity of dysfunction across several areas of life function. In support of this hypothesis, addicted chronic cocaine users, when compared with episodic, nonaddicted users, exhibited a remarkable unhealthy shift in lifestyle on several lifestyle measures, thus illustrating the manner in which addiction to cocaine appears to deteriorate health status in comparison with a pre-addiction stage: of cocaine use or abuse. Analyses of these health profiles when stratified by ethnicity (Black Hispanic, and non-Hispanic White) revealed similar patterns of deviation from normalcy in all groups, although the Hispanics exhibited the greatest unhealthy deviations. Further analyses of the Hispanic group by acculturation status indicated that lower acculturation was associated with a worse health status. Implications for evaluation and treatment are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-251
Number of pages21
JournalDrugs and Society
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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