A psychosocial typology of drug addicts and implications for treatment

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The underlying assumption of the paper is that the poor state of our understanding in the field of addiction stems, in part, from our failure to differentiate among different personality structures to be found in addicted people. To test this assumption, a typology was developed based on personal and psychological data of 663 drug addicts. Cluster analysis of these data, which did not include variables pertaining to drug abuse, resulted in nine types of addicts with different sociocultural backgrounds and psychological makeups. Treatment recommendations, including goals, techniques, staff, settings, and prognosis are offered for five types. The paper concludes that drug addicts are not a homogeneous group, but that there are different types of addicts with differing motives for drug use and differing psychological needs, and therefore drug addiction treatment should be matched with the specific needs of each type.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-154
Number of pages8
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1986


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