Abusers of alcohol and narcotics: Who are they?

Harriet L. Barr, Arie Cohen

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    3 Scopus citations


    Problem drinking among addicts was studied by interviewing 781 narcotic addicts on entrance to treatment. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis (MRA) assessed the ability of 56 demographic, childhood, psychological, social, and drug history measures to predict abstinence, alcohol consumption among nonabstainers, and alcohol-related problems among heavy drinkers. MRA explained 33% of lifetime problemdrinking variance. Best predictors were traumatic events and hyperactivity in childhood, residential instability, psychopathology, and seriousness of drug problems. It was concluded that problem-drinking addicts may differ from other addicts in kind as well as in degree. The findings suggest that problem drinking in narcotic addicts may serve as a marker for some serious psychological problems, that drug treatment professionals therefore should be trained in alcohol abuse identification and treatment, and that psychiatric consultation for these addicts should be available.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)525-541
    Number of pages17
    JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Jun 1987


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