Anxiety and depression in addiction: investigation at a Ser.D center

Eleonora Belfiore, Francesco Calarco, Elena Cricrì, Beatrice Leonello


Background: Drug addiction is one of the main public health problems in the world. The present work was born because of the training activity carried out at the Ser.D center in Polistena (RC) in the A.A. 2017/2018. Through this survey, we tried to identify the levels of anxiety and depression in drug addicts.

Methods: The method chosen for the following work is the investigation of the clinical literature and the analysis of various scientific articles in order to support the levels of anxiety and depression in drug addiction. Subsequently an accurate quantitative evaluation of the data collected by the operators between 1997 and 2017, that is the type of substance of abuse, social status, employment, marital status and the result of self-report on a sample of 730 subjects. Since the third interview with the psychotherapist of the center, patients have been subjected to the administration of the Zung scale for the assessment of depression (Zung, 1965) and of the ASQ scale (Krug et al., 1978) for the evaluation of anxiety disorder.

Results:  The subjects obtained medium-high level of anxiety and depression. In particular, in depressed drug addicts and alcoholics showed a high depressive symptomatology in which the somatic and emotional area is more compromised. The anxiety symptoms are generally high, especially in subjects who are both drug addicts and alcoholics.

Conclusions: The results obtained could help to extend the current clinical studies on this phenomenon and encouraged various operative treatments, especially of a cognitive behavioral approach.

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