Background: Antisocial behavioral syndromes, including antisocial personality disorder (ASPD), syndromal adult antisocial behavior (AABS) without conduct disorder (CD) before age 15, and CD without progression to ASPD ("CD only") are highly comorbid with drug use disorders (DUDs). Among patients in DUD treatment, antisocial syndromes are associated with greater severity and poorer outcomes. Comparative data concerning associations of antisocial syndromes with clinical characteristics of DUDs among general population adults have not previously been available. This study describes associations of antisocial syndromes with clinical characteristics of lifetime Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-Version IV DUDs in the general U.S. adult population.
Methods: This report is based on the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (n=43,093, response rate=81%). Respondents (n=4068) with lifetime DUDs were classified according to whether they met criteria for ASPD, AABS, "CD only," or no antisocial syndrome. Associations of antisocial syndromes with clinical characteristics of DUDs were examined using logistic regression.
Results: Antisocial syndromes were significantly associated with the phenomenology of DUDs, particularly ASPD with the most severe clinical presentations. Associations with AABS were similar to those with ASPD; those with "CD only" were weak, inconsistent, and not statistically significant. Patterns of associations differed little between men and women.
Conclusions: Both ASPD and AABS, but not "CD only," appear to identify greater clinical severity of DUDs among adults in the general U.S. population.