What are the differences between type A and type B cocaine dependency?

Updated: Dec 31, 2020
  • Author: Lynn Barkley Burnett, MD, EdD, JD; Chief Editor: Sage W Wiener, MD  more...
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Persons with type B dependency were more likely to be separated or divorced, to live alone or in an unstable situation, to have a family history of substance abuse, and to have had greater severity of childhood disorder than individuals with type A dependency. They also scored higher than those with type A dependency in assessments of sensation seeking, aggression, criminality, and violence.

Those with type B dependency had an early age of onset for antisocial personality disorder and early age of first use, first binge, first regular use, and first daily use of cocaine and alcohol. The quantity, frequency, duration, and severity of cocaine abuse and adverse effects (eg, loss of consciousness, chest pain, misperceived reality, violence, and use to relieve to stress) are greater with type B than with type A.

Although the groups do not differ in family history for psychiatric disorders, people with type B dependency had lifetime histories of major depression, suicide attempts, and total treatment episodes for psychiatric disorders as well as for abuse of alcohol and other drugs that were significantly greater than those with type A dependency.

No significant differences were found between the subtypes in terms of employment, education, referral source, number of close friends, age, time between the first use and the onset of symptoms of dependence, route of use, previous periods of abstinence from alcohol or other drugs, or the number of strategies used to control use.

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