Assessment of SUDs and Psychopathy

In summary, our results reveal that distinct dimensions of psychopathy have both common and unique moderating effects on neurocognitive impulsivity in individuals in protracted abstinence who are dependent on different classes of drugs (stimulants vs. opiates). In heroin dependent individuals the interpersonal-affective features of psychopathy may play a protective role on both response inhibition and decision-making, whereas in amphetamine dependent individuals lower scores on this dimension of psychopathy were associated with poor decision-making and superior response inhibition. These findings suggest that the interpersonal-affective features of psychopathy have similar effects on decision-making and opposite effects on response inhibition in heroin- and amphetamine dependent individuals. In contrast, higher scores on the impulsive-antisocial dimension of psychopathy predicted response disinhibition in both heroin- and amphetamine dependent individuals, suggesting that the PCL:SV Factor 2 had common deleterious effects on the ability to inhibit prepotent motor responses in people with SUDs, regardless of drug of choice. In addition, impulsive-antisocial psychopathic traits were uniquely related to increased ability to cancel an already initiated response in amphetamine dependent individuals. Overall, our results suggest that not psychopathy per se, but rather the interaction between its two dimensions and dependence on specific classes of drugs may lead to either deficient or superior response inhibition and decision-making performance in individuals with SUDs in protracted abstinence.

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