Do Substance Type and Diagnosis Make a Difference? A Study of Remission From Alcohol- Versus Drug-Use Disorders Using the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions

University of California, Los Angeles, Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, 11075 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 200, Los Angeles, California 90025, USA.
Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs (Impact Factor: 2.76). 08/2008; 69(4):491-5. DOI: 10.15288/jsad.2008.69.491
Source: PubMed


This study examined rates of remission from substance-use disorders based on type of disorder (abuse vs dependence), type of substance (alcohol vs other drug), and polysubstance involvement (alcohol or drug vs alcohol and drug).
Participants in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions were included if they met criteria for a prior-to-past-year alcohol- and/ or drug-use disorder (N = 12,297). Odds ratios were computed to examine differences in the rate of remission as of the past year.
Individuals with a prior-to-past-year diagnosis of abuse were more likely to be remitted, compared with those with a diagnosis of dependence. Individuals with both prior-to-past-year alcohol- and drug-use disorders were less likely to be remitted, compared with those with only an alcohol- or drug-use disorder. No differences were observed in remission rates comparing individuals with a prior-to-past-year alcohol-use disorder with those with a drug-use disorder.
The findings support prior research in suggesting a worse prognosis for individuals with a diagnosis of dependence and problematic use of both alcohol and drugs. In contrast with results from treatment samples, these general population data indicate that alcohol-use and drug-use disorders have a similar prognosis.

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    • "Whereas, extant research has classified subtypes of drug use in various populations (Agrawal et al., 2007; Lynskey et al., 2006; Cuffel et al., 1993; Hasin et al., 2007; Regier et al., 1990; Whitesell et al., 2006; Stinson et al., 2005) few studies have focused on subtypes of concurrentdrug users in the adult alcohol dependent population. Existing studies of concurrent drug use in alcohol dependent individuals often categorize individuals as concurrent drug users without differentiating between drug type (Curran et al., 2008; Karno et al., 2008). Studies on concurrent drug use in alcohol dependence which do differentiate between drug type often focus on a particular illegal drug of interest such as alcohol and the concurrent use of marijuana (Norton and Colliver, 1988) or cocaine (Brady et al., 1995; Grant and Harford, 1990; Hedden et al., 2009). "
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    American Journal on Addictions 08/2012; 21:435-444. · 1.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background/aims: Common and long-lasting deficits in decision-making in polysubstance-dependent alcoholics (PSA) reflect neurobiological alterations that define the chronic nature of addiction. These deficits affect goal-directed behavior and might be critical risk factors predicting relapse in PSA. Methods: The Delay Discounting Task (DDT) and the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) assessed the delay-discounting and decision-making skills among 37 abstinent PSA. Results: The findings indicated that IGT but not DDT performances were associated with 3-month abstinence, irrespective of the influence of personality traits and coexistent medications. Conclusion: The results show that the IGT, which assesses processes that are important in the latter stages of addiction, is ecologically more valid compared to the DDT, which assesses processes important in the early stages. They underline the importance of using neurocognitive measures to identify high relapse risk patients and emphasize the relevance of promoting new treatments.
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