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. 2006 Oct 1;84(3):281-8.
doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2006.03.006. Epub 2006 Apr 18.

The Relationship Between Past-Year Drinking Behaviors and Nonmedical Use of Prescription Drugs: Prevalence of Co-Occurrence in a National Sample

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The Relationship Between Past-Year Drinking Behaviors and Nonmedical Use of Prescription Drugs: Prevalence of Co-Occurrence in a National Sample

Sean Esteban McCabe et al. Drug Alcohol Depend. .
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Abstract

This study examined the relationship between past-year drinking behaviors and nonmedical use of prescription drugs (NMUPD) in a nationally representative sample. Prevalence estimates in the United States were derived based on data collected from face-to-face interviews using the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) (n=43,093 individuals aged 18 years and older). Nonmedical use of prescription opioids, stimulants, tranquilizers, and sedatives was more prevalent among individuals with alcohol use disorders (AUDs) than those without AUDs. The odds of reporting NMUPD were 18 times higher among alcohol dependent participants compared to past-year abstainers (OR=18.2, 95% CI=13.9-23.8). Although individuals with AUDs constituted less than 9% of the total sample, those with AUDs accounted for more than one in every three nonmedical users of prescription drugs. The past-year co-occurrence of AUDs and NMUPD was more prevalent among young adults 18-24 years of age than individuals 25 years and older. More than one in every four young adults aged 18-24 years who met the criteria for past-year DSM-IV alcohol dependence also reported past-year NMUPD. These findings suggest that the treatment for AUDs should include a thorough assessment of NMUPD, especially among young adults.

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