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Ramos, S.D. (2004). What can we learn from psychoanalysis and prospective studies about chemically dependent patients?. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(2):467-488.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(2):467-488

What can we learn from psychoanalysis and prospective studies about chemically dependent patients?

Sérgio De Paula Ramos

Despite the common occurrence of drug abusers in the psychoanalytic clinic, contemporary literature on the subject, particularly among publications in the IJP, is sparse. This paper aims to review the most important psychoanalytic contributions on drug dependency in the past 100 years, then attempts to compare their postulations to the findings of pertinent prospective studies. In these patients, a persistent symbiotic object relationship is found, which ties them to narcissistic functioning, where drug use is viewed in the light of both pleasure without object and omnipotently controlled need. The author also discusses the possible contribution of the mother and father in the genesis of this condition, focusing on the compromise of the paternal function as the deciding factor. The theoretical and technical implications of this approach are illustrated by clinical material.

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