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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 59-68

Personality traits and its relation to craving and serum oxytocin among male patients with opioid dependence

1 Department of Psychiatry, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Clinical Pathology, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
MD Shirin M El-Makawi
Department of Psychiatry, Kasr Al Ainy Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo 11966
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ejpsy.ejpsy_44_20

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Background As craving is one of the main problems that affect substance users and their progress during treatment, it was important to investigate personality traits that affect it. Although oxytocin (OT) system is regarded as being of relevance for social interaction, very few studies have investigated the relationship between OT and personality traits in clinical psychiatric populations. Objectives The aim of the work is to assess the personality traits among patients with active opioid dependence in comparison with abstinent patients and healthy controls and to assess the relation of personality traits with the degree of craving and serum OT level. Patients and methods A consecutive sample of 30 opiate-dependent patients who fully meet the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) criteria for opiate dependence and 30 patients fulfilling the DSM-V criteria of opiate dependence with at least 6 months of abstinence were assessed regarding personality traits, serum craving levels, and OT levels using Personality Inventory for DSM-brief form, brief substance craving scale, and immunoassay kit, correspondingly. They were compared with each other and with a sample of 30 healthy controls matching both groups. Results Total personality dysfunction scores were statistically significantly higher in the patient group than the control group (P<0.001) and the abstinent group (P<0.05). There was no statistically significant difference between the abstinent group and the control group. A positive correlation was found between craving and total personality dysfunction (P<0.001) as well as each of the five traits [negative affect (P<0.05), detachment (P<0.001), antagonism (P<0.05), disinhibition (P<0.001), and psychoticism (P<0.05)]. Craving levels showed a statistically significant difference between the patient group and the abstinent group (P<0.001). There was a statistically significant difference between the patient group and the control group in serum OT levels (P<0.05). The correlation between personality dysfunction and serum OT level in the patient group was not significant. Conclusion The interaction between personality traits, craving, and serum OT levels should be considered when dealing with opiate-dependent patients as they affect and are affected by opiate dependence. Further studies regarding how to implement this during the patient’s treatment should be considered.

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