Concurrent versus simultaneous use of alcohol and non-medical use of prescription drugs: is simultaneous use worse for mental, social, and health issues?

J Psychoactive Drugs. 2014 Oct-Dec;46(4):334-9. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2014.921747.


Abstract This study investigated the difference between concurrent and simultaneous use of alcohol and non-medical use of prescription drugs (NMUPD) in relation to mental, social, and health issues. The 544 study participants of the Swiss ongoing Cohort Study on Substance Use Risk Factors (C-SURF) had a combined use of alcohol with NMUPD during the previous 12 months. Alcohol-related problems (i.e., dependence and consequences), as well as mental, social, and health concerns (i.e., depression, general mental/physical health, and social/health consequences), were assessed. The simultaneous use of alcohol and NMUPD proved to be a greater risk factor for mental, social, and health issues than concurrent use. This study adds information regarding simultaneous polydrug use, which results in distinct effects compared to concurrent use, including important social, psychosocial, and health-related consequences.

Keywords: alcohol use; concurrent use; non-medical use of prescription drugs; simultaneous use.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Prescription Drug Misuse / adverse effects*
  • Prescription Drug Misuse / psychology
  • Prescription Drugs / adverse effects*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Report
  • Social Change*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Switzerland
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Prescription Drugs