The prevalence and clinical features of amphetamine-induced obsessive compulsive disorder

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016 Mar 1;160:157-62. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.12.034. Epub 2016 Jan 8.


Background: Amphetamine abuse is increasing worldwide, and the occurrence of amphetamine-induced (AI) psychiatric issues further complicates treatment. In response, the DSM 5 has introduced the classification of amphetamine-induced obsessive-compulsive disorders (AI-OCD), though little has been published on either its prevalence rates or its clinical features. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigate the prevalence of AI-OCD, to describe patients' clinical features, and to compare the prevalence rate among such patients with those for OCD in the general population in Western countries and Iran.

Methods: A total of 547 patients with amphetamine abuse or dependency and with a positive urine test (mean age: 31.64 years; 75.5% males) took part in the study. A psychiatric interview was carried out, covering both socio-demographic and illness-related information.

Results: 18 (3.3%) patients suffered from OCD prior to amphetamine abuse, 491 (89.8%) had no OCD, and 38 (6.9%) suffered from AI-OCD. Neither socio-demographic nor illness-related dimensions predicted patients with diagnosed AI-OCD. The prevalence of AI-OCD was significantly higher than that for OCD in the general population (2.3% in Western countries, 1.8% in Iran).

Conclusions: Data suggest that prevalence rate of AI-OCD is about 7%. Neither socio-demographic nor illness-related dimensions predicted the occurrence of AI-OCD. Thus, it remains unclear why some amphetamine abusers develop AI-OCD while others do not.

Keywords: Amphetamine abuse; Amphetamine-induced OCD; Illness-related data; Obsessive–compulsive disorders OCD; Socio-demographic data.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amphetamine / adverse effects*
  • Amphetamine / urine
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / adverse effects*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / urine
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / chemically induced*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Amphetamine