The reason why some people fall back into drugs despite undergoing a treatment has been highlighted in a new study from University of Santiago de Compostela (USC).
It shows that, in the case of cocaine, a high score on the so-called 'scale of craving', an antisocial personality type and previous heroin abuse are the factors most commonly involved in people falling back into the habit.
Lead researcher Ana Lopez told SINC that the objectives of the new study were: "To understand the factors linked to treatment outcomes, in order to help people get the right kind of treatment, reduce their chances of abandoning the treatment, ensure they stop using drugs and don't fall back into the habit".
During the study, researchers analysed significant factors involved in patients continuing to use cocaine two years after having requested treatment.
She said a high score on the 'scale of craving', which measures the level of anxiety or desire to take drugs at the start of the treatment, an antisocial personality type, and having previously taken heroin at some point previously in life are the main factors involved in falling back into cocaine abuse.
For this reason, "it is crucial to first evaluate the person's consumption history and personality type", she added.
It also showed that impulsiveness and the desire for new sensations are also factors involved with substance abuse.
"It's no surprise that people who have tried substances such as heroin, which is broadly rejected by society, score highly for impulsiveness and sensation-seeking, and these are also features that are characteristic of an antisocial personality type", said Lopez.
The study is published in the Spanish journal Psicologia Conductual.