University of Granada scientists have analyzed the relationship between drug abuse and recognition of basic emotions (happiness, surprise, wrath, fear, sadness and disgust) by drug-abusers. Different studies revealed that drug-abusers have difficulty in identifying negative emotions by their facial expression: wrath, disgust, fear and sadness.
Further, regular abuse of alcohol, cannabis and cocaine usually affects abusers’ fluency and decision-making. Consuming cannabis and cocaine negatively affects work memory and reasoning. Similarly, cocaine abuse is associated to alterations in inhibition.
The studies revealed that 70% of drug abusers presented some type of neuropsychological deterioration, regardless the type of substance consumed. Deterioration was registered in major degree in the working memory, and in fluency, flexibility, planning, multitask ability and interference.
Fernández-Serrano, M.J., Pérez-García, M., Verdejo-García, A. (2010) What are the specific vs. generalized effects of drugs of abuse on neuropsychological performance? Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews (in press)
Fernández-Serrano, M.J., Pérez-García, M., Schmidt, J., Verdejo-García, A. (2010) Neuropsychological consequences of alcohol and drug abuse on different components of executive functions. Journal of Psychopharmacology (in press).
Fernández-Serrano, M.J., Lozano Rojas, O., Pérez-García, M., Verdejo-García, A. (2010) Impact of severity of drug use on discrete emotions recognition in polysubstance abusers. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 109, 57-64.
Fernández-Serrano, M.J., Pérez-García, M., Perales, J.C., Verdejo-García, A. (2010) Prevalence of executive dysfunction in cocaine, heroin and alcohol users enrolled in therapeutic communities. European Journal of Pharmacology, 626, 104-112.