Subjective effects for alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana association with cross-drug outcomes

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012 Jun;123 Suppl 1(0 1):S52-8. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2012.02.014. Epub 2012 Mar 22.


Methods: The cross-drug relationship of subjective experiences between alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana and problem drug use behaviors were examined. Data were drawn from 3853 individuals between the ages of 11 and 30 years of age participating in the Colorado Center on Antisocial Drug Dependence [CADD]. Subjective experiences were assessed using a 13-item questionnaire that included positive and negative responses for alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. Lifetime abuse and dependence on these three drugs was assessed using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview, Substance Abuse Module [CIDI-SAM].

Results: Positive and negative subjective experience scales were similar for alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana, although the hierarchical ordering of items differed by drug. Subjective experience scales for each of the three drugs examined correlated significantly, with the strongest relationship being for alcohol and marijuana experiences. Significant associations were identified between how a person experienced a drug and abuse and dependence status for the same or different drug.

Conclusion: Cross-drug relationships provide evidence for a common liability or sensitivity towards responding in a similar manner to drugs of abuse within and across different pharmacological classes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cannabis*
  • Emotions / drug effects*
  • Ethanol*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nicotiana*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • Ethanol