Evolving conceptualizations of cocaine dependence

Yale J Biol Med. 1988 Mar-Apr;61(2):123-36.


Cocaine was considered incapable of producing dependence in 1980 but was proclaimed the "drug of greatest national public health concern" by 1984. Clinical consensus in 1980 held that cocaine did not produce a withdrawal syndrome, but recent clinical investigations demonstrate that cocaine produces unique abuse and withdrawal patterns that differ from other major abused drugs. Evolving pre-clinical research over the past two decades now suggests that chronic cocaine abuse produces neurophysiological alterations in specific central nervous system systems that regulate the capacity to experience pleasure. These evolving clinical and pre-clinical constructs have led to applications of promising experimental pharmacological treatments for cocaine abuse.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Affective Symptoms / chemically induced
  • Affective Symptoms / drug therapy
  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / therapeutic use
  • Cocaine*
  • Humans
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders* / complications
  • Substance-Related Disorders* / drug therapy
  • Substance-Related Disorders* / psychology


  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Cocaine