Further evidence of differences in substance use and dependence between Australia and the United States

School of Psychology, University of Ulster at Magee Campus, Northland Road, Co. Londonderry, BT48 7JL, Northern, Ireland.
Drug and alcohol dependence (Impact Factor: 3.42). 12/2008; 100(3):258-64. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2008.10.011
Source: PubMed


The current study compared the prevalence of substance use and DSM-IV dependence in the USA and Australia. Participants aged 18-54 were selected from two cross-sectional nationally representative Australian (National Survey on Mental Health and Well-Being - NSMHWB, 1997, n=7570) and American (National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions - NESARC, 2001-2002, n=29,673) household surveys. The NSMHWB utilised the Composite International Diagnostic Interview, whereas the NESARC used the Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule. The 12-month prevalence of alcohol use was lower in the USA (56.5%) than in Australia (77.2%), although the rates of alcohol dependence were similar in both countries. The USA had higher rates of alcohol dependence conditional on use (9.0%) compared to Australia (6.8%). Australians had higher levels of drug use, dependence, and conditional dependence than Americans (except for sedatives and opioids). The absence of significant interactions between country of interview and the common correlates of substance use disorders indicated that the influence of these factors was similar in the USA and Australia. In conclusion, the current investigation revealed striking differences in the rates of conditional drug dependence between Australia and the USA. The cross-national generalizability of the relationships between the common correlates and prevalence of substance use and dependence indicates that a similar process of vulnerability to dependence may be operating in the USA and Australia. In the future, these cross-national differences could be used to help better understand the factors that influence drug use and the development of dependence.

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    • "Within the adult population , 2.2% met criteria for a DSM-IV cannabis use disorder and the conditional prevalence (proportion of ever users who met criteria for a disorder) was 31.7% (Swift et al., 2001). A cross-national comparison with the US National Comorbidity Survey found that although rates of use of cannabis were similar in the two countries, rates of cannabis dependence and the probability of dependence among users were higher in Australia than in the USA (McBride et al., 2009; Teesson et al., 2006). It is crucial that epidemiological information be as upto-date and accurate as possible to reflect dynamic changes in patterns of drug use (Hasin et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To report nationally representative findings on the prevalence, correlates, psychiatric comorbidity and treatment of DSM-IV Cannabis Use and Cannabis Use Disorders in Australia. Method: The 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing was a nationally representative household survey of 8841 Australians (16-85 years) that assessed symptoms of the most prevalent DSM-IV mental disorders. Results: Prevalence of lifetime and 12-month cannabis use was 18% and 6%; prevalence of lifetime and 12-month cannabis use disorder was 6% and 1%. The conditional prevalence (proportion of ever users who met criteria for a disorder) of lifetime and 12-month cannabis use disorder was 32.2% and 14.3%. Current cannabis use disorders were more common in males (OR 2.0) and younger users (OR 4.6). Strong associations were observed between current cannabis use disorders and alcohol use disorders (OR 3.6) and current affective disorders (OR 3.0). Only 36.2% of those with current cannabis use disorders sought any treatment. Conclusions: The prevalence of cannabis use disorders in the Australian population is comparable with that in the USA. Current cannabis use disorders are highly concentrated in young Australians who have high levels of comorbidity. The low rates of treatment seeking warrant attention in treatment and prevention strategies.
    Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 09/2012; 46(12). DOI:10.1177/0004867412460591 · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    • "HE SOUTH AFRICAN Demographic and Health Survey in 1998 found that 45% of men and 17% of women were current drinkers (Parry et al., 2005) and the more recent South African Stress and Health (SASH) study found that alcohol was used by 38.7% of participants (van Heerden et al., 2009). Although these rates are low compared with a number of other countries, such as the United States and Australia (McBride et al., 2009), the consumption of alcohol per drinker in South Africa has been reported to be among the highest in the world (Rehm et al., 2003). Risky drinking has been noted to be 22.0% (37.4% of men and 5.0%-10.7% of women) in studies in rural populations (Peltzer, 2006; Peltzer et al., 2004), with 9.2% of men and 0.3% of women meeting criteria for probable alcohol dependence on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identifi cation Test (Peltzer, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: High rates of alcohol use and alcohol-use disorders have been noted in South Africa. Although a number of risk factors for alcohol use and abuse/dependence have been identified, there is a lack of information regarding risk factors for progression through the different stages of alcohol use and alcohol-use disorders. Our aim was to examine sociodemographic predictors of transition across stages of alcohol use, abuse and dependence (according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition), and remission in the South African population. A national probability sample of 4,315 adult South Africans was administered Version 3.0 of the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview. We found high rates of transition from regular alcohol use to abuse but low rates from alcohol abuse to dependence. All stages of alcohol use and alcohol-use disorders were more common in younger than in older respondents at comparable time points. Younger age (below 50), male gender, lower education, and having been a student were all associated with ever using alcohol, but only male gender was associated with the transition to regular use and abuse. Furthermore, younger age and late age at onset of alcohol abuse were associated with remission from abuse. The importance of socio-demographic predictors appears to vary across stages of alcohol use and could be used to guide the precision of intervention strategies.
    Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 09/2010; 71(5):695-703. DOI:10.15288/jsad.2010.71.695 · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nearly half of the people suffering from schizophrenia also present with a lifetime history of substance use disorders (SUD), a rate that is much higher than the one seen among unaffected individuals. This phenomenon suggests that the factors influencing SUD risk in schizophrenia may be more numerous and/or complex than those modulating SUD risk in the general population. It is critically important to address this comorbidity because SUD in schizophrenic patients is associated with poorer clinical outcomes and contributes significantly to their morbidity and mortality.
    Schizophrenia Bulletin 05/2009; 35(3):469-72. DOI:10.1093/schbul/sbp016 · 8.45 Impact Factor
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