Childhood Maltreatment and Substance Use Disorders Among Men and Women in a Nationally Representative Sample.

Assistant Professor, Departments of Community Health Sciences, Psychiatry, and Family Social Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie (Impact Factor: 2.55). 11/2012; 57(11):677-686.
Source: PubMed


To examine the association between a history of 5 types of childhood maltreatment (that is, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, and emotional neglect) and several substance use disorders (SUDs), including alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, opioids, amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and nicotine, in a nationally representative US adult sex-stratified sample.

Data were drawn from the National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), a nationally representative US sample of adults aged 20 years and older (n = 34 653). Logistic regression models were conducted to understand the relations between 5 types of childhood maltreatment and SUDs separately among men and women after adjusting for sociodemographic variables and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) Axis I and II mental disorders.

All 5 types of childhood maltreatment were associated with increased odds of all individual SUDs among men and women after adjusting for sociodemographic variables, with the exception of physical neglect and heroin abuse or dependence, emotional neglect, and amphetamines and cocaine abuse or dependence among men (adjusted odds ratio range 1.3 to 4.7). After further adjustment for other DSM Axis I and II mental disorders, the relations between childhood maltreatment and SUDs were attenuated, but many remained statistically significant. Differences in the patterns of findings were noted for men and women for sexual abuse and emotional neglect.

This research provides evidence of the robust nature of the relations between many types of childhood maltreatment and many individual SUDs. The prevention of childhood maltreatment may help to reduce SUDs in the general population.

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    • "These data suggest that maltreatment in childhood may result in enduring differences in brain function that are associated with negative affective states and reduced adaptive emotional processing in adulthood. Given the consistent evidence that maltreatment increases the risk of substance abuse (e.g., Afifi et al. 2012), these results raise the possibility that limbic connectivity and concomitant emotional distress foster the development of methamphetamine abuse as a means of drug-induced emotion regulation (cf. Baicy and London 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Childhood maltreatment, a well-known risk factor for the development of substance abuse disorders, is associated with functional and structural abnormalities in the adult brain, particularly in the limbic system. However, almost no research has examined the relationship between childhood maltreatment and brain function in individuals with drug abuse disorders. Methods We conducted a pilot study of the relationship between childhood maltreatment (evaluated with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire; Bernstein and Fink 1998) and resting-state functional connectivity of the amygdala (bilateral region of interest) with functional magnetic resonance imaging in 15 abstinent, methamphetamine-dependent research participants. Within regions that showed connectivity with the amygdala as a function of maltreatment, we also evaluated whether amygdala connectivity was associated positively with negative affect and negatively with healthy emotional processing. Results The results indicated that childhood maltreatment was positively associated with resting-state connectivity between the amygdala and right hippocampus, right parahippocampal gyrus, right inferior temporal gyrus, right orbitofrontal cortex, cerebellum, and brainstem. Furthermore, connectivity between the amygdala and hippocampus was positively related to measures of depression, trait anxiety, and emotion dysregulation, and negatively related to self-compassion and dispositional mindfulness. Conclusions These findings suggest that childhood maltreatment may contribute to increased limbic connectivity and maladaptive emotional processing in methamphetamine-dependent adults, and that healthy emotion regulation strategies may serve as a therapeutic target to ameliorate the associated behavioral phenotype. Childhood maltreatment warrants further investigation as a potentially important etiological factor in the neurobiology and treatment of substance use disorders.
    Brain and Behavior 11/2014; 4(6):867-876. DOI:10.1002/brb3.289 · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A number of demographic factors, psychiatric disorders, and childhood risk factors have been associated with cocaine dependence (CD) and opioid dependence (OD), but little is known about their relevance to the rate at which dependence develops. Identification of the subpopulations at elevated risk for rapid development of dependence and the risk factors that accelerate the course of dependence is an important public health goal. Data were derived from cocaine dependent (n=6333) and opioid dependent (n=3513) participants in a multi-site study of substance dependence. Mean age was approximately 40 and 40% of participants were women; 51.9% of cocaine dependent participants and 29.5% of opioid dependent participants self-identified as Black/African-American. The time from first use to dependence was calculated for each substance and a range of demographic, psychiatric, and childhood risk factors were entered into ordinal logistic regression models to predict the (categorical) transition time to CD and OD. In both the cocaine and opioid models, conduct disorder and childhood physical abuse predicted rapid development of dependence and alcohol and nicotine dependence diagnoses were associated with slower progression to CD or OD. Blacks/African Americans were at greater risk than European Americans to progress rapidly to OD. Only a subset of factors known to be associated with CD and OD predicted the rate at which dependence developed. Nearly all were common to cocaine and opioids, suggesting that sources of influence on the timing of transitions to dependence are shared across the two substances.
    Addictive behaviors 10/2013; 39(2). DOI:10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.10.021 · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It is well established that childhood maltreatment is an important predictor of marijuana use, but few studies have examined the mechanisms underlying this relationship. The current study examines marijuana motives as mediators of the relationship between childhood maltreatment and marijuana use in a sample of young adults. In addition, pathways from childhood maltreatment to emotion dysregulation, coping motives, and marijuana use were explored. Participants were 125 young adults (ages 19-25, 66.9% female) recruited through online community advertising. All participants completed questionnaires assessing childhood maltreatment, emotion dysregulation, marijuana motives, past year and past three-month marijuana use, and marijuana problems. Correlational analyses revealed bivariate relationships between childhood maltreatment, emotion dysregulation, marijuana motives and marijuana problems (rs=.24-.50). Mediation analyses revealed that coping motives mediated the relationship between childhood maltreatment and marijuana problems, and emotion dysregulation was associated with marijuana problems both directly and indirectly via coping motives. The present findings highlight emotion dysregulation and coping motives as important underlying mechanisms in the relationship between childhood maltreatment and marijuana problems.
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