E-ISSN 1309-4866
Research Article
Impulsivity, Sensation Seeking, and Decision-Making in Long-Term Abstinent Cannabis Dependent Patients
1 Department of Psychiatry, İzmir Bozyaka Training and Research Hospital, İzmir, Turkey  
2 Department of Psychiatry, Nazilli State Hospital, Aydın, Turkey  
3 Department of Psychiatry, İzmir Katip Çelebi University Atatürk Training and Research Hospital, İzmir, Turkey  
Arch Neuropsychiatry ; : -
DOI: 10.5152/npa.2017.19304
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Key Words: Cannabis, decision-making, sensation seeking, impulsivity, abstinence

Introduction: In contrast to several studies that examined different domains of neurocognitive functions in long-term abstinent cannabis users, there are few studies examined impulsivity in cannabis users with prolonged abstinence. The aim of this study was to test whether impulsivity and sensation seeking traits and impulsive decision-making are transient or enduring in patients with cannabis dependence who were abstinent for at least 1 month.


Methods: The study included 30 patients with cannabis dependence (CDP) who had been abstinent for at least 1 month and 30 healthy controls. All the participants were male and the two groups were matched for age and duration of education.


Results: As a result of Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) evaluation, there was no significant group (CDP vs. control) by block interaction in IGT performance (p=0.680). CDP showed significantly higher Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11 (BIS-11) total (p=0.006), BIS-11 non-planning (p=0.006) and Zuckerman Sensation Seeking Scale experience seeking subscale (p=0.001) scores compared with controls.


Conclusions: This is the first study to investigate decision-making, self-report impulsivity and sensation seeking in long-term abstinent CDP. Our findings suggest that both self-report impulsivity and experience seeking may reflect a stable trait in CDP but not deficits on decision-making. This suggestion is consistent with the hypothesis that elevated impulsivity and sensation seeking traits may lead to addiction when they occur together rather than alone.

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Latest Update: 29.12.2017