Exploring the association between lifetime prevalence of mental illness and transition from substance use to substance use disorders: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC)

Shaul Lev-Ran*, Sameer Imtiaz, Jürgen Rehm, Bernard Le Foll

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and Objectives The association between substance use disorders (SUDs) and mental illness (MI) has been well established. Previous studies reporting this association in various clinical populations have not taken into account former substance use. This may be important as increased prevalence of substance use among individuals with MI may partially explain the strong association between SUDs and MI. Methods In this study we included only individuals with previous substance use and explored the association between lifetime diagnosis of MI and transition from substance use to SUDs. Analyses were conducted across six different categories of substances (alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants) based on a large representative US sample, the National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC, n = 43,093). Results Lifetime diagnoses of any MI, and particularly personality disorders and psychotic disorders, were found to be associated with higher prevalence of transition from substance use to SUDs across most categories of substances. This association was particularly strong for nicotine (adjusted OR = 2.95 (2.72-3.20)). Conclusions and Scientific Significance This cross-sectional study expands on previous research by highlighting the association between lifetime diagnosis of any MI and increased rates of transition from substance use to SUDs across a range of substances. Longitudinal studies exploring temporal effects of this association are further needed. (Am J Addict 2013;22:93-98)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-98
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal on Addictions
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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