JOURNAL ARTICLE

Psychiatric, psychosocial, and physical health correlates of co-occurring cannabis use disorders and nicotine dependence

Erica N Peters, Robert P Schwartz, Shuai Wang, Kevin E O'Grady, Carlos Blanco
Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2014 January 1, 134: 228-234
24183498

BACKGROUND: Several gaps in the literature on individuals with co-occurring cannabis and tobacco use exist, including the extent of psychiatric, psychosocial, and physical health problems. We examine these gaps in an epidemiological study, the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), of a large, nationally representative sample.

METHODS: The sample was drawn from Wave 2 NESARC respondents (N=34,653). Adults with current cannabis use disorders and nicotine dependence (CUD+ND) (n=74), CUD only (n=100), and ND only (n=3424) were compared on psychiatric disorders, psychosocial correlates (e.g., binge drinking; partner violence), and physical health correlates (e.g., medical conditions).

RESULTS: Relative to those with CUD only, respondents with CUD+ND were significantly more likely to meet criteria for bipolar disorder, Clusters A and B personality disorders, and narcissistic personality disorder, and reported engaging in a significantly higher number of antisocial behaviors. Relative to those with ND only, respondents with CUD+ND were significantly more likely to meet criteria for bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and paranoid, schizotypal, narcissistic, and borderline personality disorders; were significantly more likely to report driving under the influence of alcohol and being involved in partner violence; and reported engaging in a significantly higher number of antisocial behaviors. CUD+ND was not associated with physical health correlates.

CONCLUSIONS: Poor treatment outcomes for adults with co-occurring cannabis use disorders and nicotine dependence may be explained in part by differences in psychiatric and psychosocial problems.

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