Social-cognitive difficulties in former users of methamphetamine


Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Julie D. Henry, School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia (e-mail:


Objectives. Methamphetamine (MA) abuse is associated with neurocognitive impairment. We investigated whether important aspects of social-cognitive function are similarly disrupted.

Method. A total of 12 adults with a history of MA dependence (average duration of use, 3.9 years), currently engaged in rehabilitation and abstinent for an average period of 6 months, and 12 MA naive participants completed measures of facial affect recognition, theory of mind, executive function and memory.

Results. MA users were impaired on the measures of facial affect recognition and theory of mind (ds=1.75 and 2.32, respectively), with the magnitude of these deficits comparable or larger to those observed on the cognitive measures.

Conclusions. Social-cognitive difficulties are associated with MA use and have potentially important implications for rehabilitative practice.