Delay discounting, impulsiveness, and addiction severity in opioid-dependent patients

Elias Robles-Sotelo, B. Emma Huang, Pippa M. Simpson, Donald E. McMillan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Individuals who abuse drugs show higher delay discounting (DD) rate and impulsiveness scores compared with controls; however, it is unclear if DD rate covaries with severity of the addiction or if an individual's discounting rate can be changed by effective substance abuse treatment. This study compared methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) patients (n = 30) who had not used illegal drugs for 2 years with drug-using MMT patients (n = 30) and controls (n = 25) in terms of addiction severity, DD rate, and impulsiveness. Methadone patients abstinent from illegal drugs scored significantly lower on a number of addiction severity measures than the drug-using methadone patients. In addition, both groups of MMT patients showed significantly higher rates of DD and impulsiveness than the control group; however, no differences in DD rate or impulsiveness were found between the groups of patients. Results suggest that DD rate and impulsiveness may not covary with indicators of addiction severity in MMT patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-362
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Addiction severity
  • Delay discounting
  • Impulsiveness
  • Methadone maintenance
  • Opioids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Delay discounting, impulsiveness, and addiction severity in opioid-dependent patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this