Therapeutic attempts with lithium in young drug addicts

A. C. Altamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


On the hypothesis that drug addiction may be due to 'masked depression', lithium was administered to 20 opiate addicts. Only 9 patients took the lithium carbonate tablets for more than a few wk; during this period they seemed to abstain from taking opiates. After 1 yr, all the patients were off lithium and most of them again took opiates. Due to lack of cooperation on the part of the patients, the observations can neither confirm nor refute this hypothesis. The study shows that psychological and socio environmental factors make trials on drug treatment of opiate addicts almost impossible to carry out.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-319
Number of pages8
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1975

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)


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