The British Journal of Psychiatry


Psychological and drug-related variables and their effect on the severity of withdrawal symptoms were examined in a group of addicts being withdrawn from opiates on an in-patient drug dependence unit. Two psychological factors--neuroticism and the degree of distress expected by the patient--were related to subsequent severity of symptoms. Both are anxiety-related, and may serve to amplify withdrawal symptoms. Surprisingly, drug dose was unrelated to symptom severity.