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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Concurrent use of alcohol with other drugs and DSM-5 alcohol use disorder comorbid with other drug use disorders: Sociodemographic characteristics, severity, and psychopathology

Tulshi D Saha, Bridget F Grant, S Patricia Chou, Bradley T Kerridge, Roger P Pickering, W June Ruan
Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2018 June 1, 187: 261-269
29689486

BACKGROUND: Little is known about the sociodemographic profiles, the intensity of drinking, the severity of alcohol use disorder (AUD), and psychopathology among individuals with specific patterns of concurrent alcohol and drug use and AUD and other drug use disorders (DUDs) comorbidity.

METHODS: Data were from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III. We examined sociodemographic correlates and psychopathology among individuals with specific patterns of concurrent use of alcohol and drug and AUD-DUD comorbidity relative to alcohol use or AUD only, respectively, using multinomial logistic regression. We also examined whether concurrent alcohol and drug use and AUD-DUD comorbidity increased the intensity of drinking and severity of AUD, respectively.

RESULTS: The majority (62.0%) of past-year drinkers used only alcohol. The 12-month prevalence of AUD only was 53.5%. Individuals with concurrent use of alcohol and drugs and AUD-DUD comorbidity were more likely to be men, younger, never/previously married, with lower education and income (odds ratios (ORs) ≥ 1.2). Concurrent use of alcohol and drugs and AUD- DUD comorbidity groups were more likely to experience psychopathology than the alcohol use only and AUD only groups, respectively (ORs ≥ 1.3). The intensity of drinking was greater among the concurrent use groups relative to the alcohol use only group, while the severity of AUD was greater among AUD-DUD comorbidity groups relative to the AUD only group.

CONCLUSIONS: Research on consequences and treatment outcome of concurrent use of alcohol and drugs and AUD-DUD comorbidity is warranted to inform the development of more effective prevention/intervention programs.

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