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Severity of opioid dependence, and performance on two successive runs of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), were assessed in 39 right-handed male and female methadone patients who had been randomly assigned to either a recently dosed (n=21) or 24 hr abstinent (n=18) condition. Results indicated that severity of opioid dependence was positively correlated with perseverative responses and errors on the second run of the WCST, p<.05. Further, controlling for the effect of dependence severity, patients in early methadone withdrawal made selectively more perseverative responses and errors than did recently dosed patients, p<.05, with no difference on nonperseverative errors. Findings were consistent with the hypothesis that opioid dependence, like alcoholism and cocaine addiction, is associated with disruption of executive cognitive functions mediated by the prefrontal cortex.