Correlates of self-medication for anxiety disorders: results from the National Epidemiolgic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.
ABSTRACT Self-medication is a common behavior among individuals with anxiety disorders, yet few studies have examined the correlates of this behavior. The current study addresses this issue by exploring the pattern of mental health service use and quality of life among people who self-medicate for anxiety. Data came from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions and was limited to the subsample of individuals meeting criteria for an anxiety disorder in the past 12 months (n = 4880). Multiple regression analyses compared 3 groups-(1) no self-medication, (2) self-medication with alcohol, and (3) self-medication with drugs, on mental health service use and quality of life. After adjusting for potentially confounding covariates, individuals who engaged in self-medication had significantly higher service use compared with people with anxiety disorders who did not self-medicate (adjusted odds ratio = 1.41, 95% CI = 1.06-1.89). Self-medication was also associated with a lower mental health-related quality of life compared with those who did not self-medicate. Clinicians should recognize and respond to the unique needs of this particular subpopulation of individuals with anxiety disorders.
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ABSTRACT: Objective: The use of protective behavioral strategies (PBS) has been shown to reduce heavy alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems among college students. Limited research has examined how mental health is related to PBS use in the prediction of alcohol outcomes. Consequently, the aims of the present study were to (a) examine the relationship between anxiety symptoms and the use of PBS, (b) examine PBS as a mediator of the association between anxiety and alcohol-related problems, and (c) test anxiety as a moderator of the relationship between the use of PBS and alcohol-related problems. Method: Participants were college students (N = 199, 67% women) who completed self-report measures of typical anxiety symptoms, use of PBS, and alcohol-related problems. Results: Results indicated that anxiety was significantly negatively related to PBS use. Additionally, the association between anxiety and alcohol-related consequences was mediated by the use of PBS. The association between PBS use and alcohol-related problems was also contingent on one's level of anxiety. That is, although the relationship between the use of PBS and problems was negative regardless of anxiety level, those with higher anxiety exhibited a stronger, negative relationship between PBS and problems. Conclusions: These findings suggest that PBS is both a mediator in the anxiety and alcohol-related problems association as well as an important factor in reducing negative consequences for college students higher in anxiety. Results indicate that college students with anxiety would be ideal candidates for harm-reduction interventions that emphasize the use of PBS in drinking contexts. (J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs, 74, 413-422, 2013).Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 05/2013; 74(3):413-422. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Exposure to daily life stressors is associated with increases in anxiety, depression, and overall negative affect. Alcohol or other psychoactive drugs are often used to alleviate stress effects. While females are more than twice as likely to develop mood disorders and are more susceptible to dependency than males, they are infrequently examined. In this study, female rats received no stress/no alcohol control (CON), alcohol alone (ALC), stress alone (STR), or stress plus alcohol (STR+ALC). Stress consisted of restraint for 6hr/day/7days, and alcohol was administered immediately following restraint via gastric gavage at a dose of 2.0g/kg. Dependent measures included tests utilizing object recognition (OR), Y-maze, elevated plus maze (EPM), forced swim (FST), blood alcohol content, corticosterone levels, and body weights. ALC, STR+ALC, but not stress alone, impaired memory on OR. All treatments impaired spatial memory on the Y-maze. Anxiety was not affected on the EPM, but rats treated with alcohol or in combination with stress showed increased immobility on the FST, suggestive of alcohol-induced depression. Previously, we found alcohol reversed deleterious effects of stress on memory and mood in males, but current results show females reacted negatively when the two treatments were combined. Thus, responses to alcohol, stress and their combination suggest that sex specific treatments are needed for stress-induced behavioral changes and that self-medicating with alcohol to cope with stress maybe deleterious in females.Physiology & Behavior 10/2013; · 3.16 Impact Factor