Selective Deficits in Reflective Cognition of Polydrug Abusers: Preliminary Findings

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The goal of this study was to determine if drug abusers exhibited specific deficits in reflective cognition similar to that observed in detoxified alcoholics who were otherwise cognitively intact. Fifteen drug abusers and 15 non-drug-abusing control participants were administered a series of cognitive tests, which assessed various learning and memory functions. Drug abusers did not differ from controls with respect to most cognitive domains. However, drug abusers exhibited selective deficits in processing unstructured information and in inhibiting intrusion errors during word recall. Such deficits in reflective functioning may play a role in the initiation of drug use or maintenance of drug dependence.

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