CTN-0040-S: Pattern of Alcohol Use and Alcohol-Related Diagnoses among Drug Abusing/Dependent Participants

Dennis Donovan, PhD
Lead Investigator
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, University of Washington

Alcohol use, abuse, and dependence are common among individuals who are dependent on other drugs such as cocaine, other stimulants such as methamphetamine, and opiates.  This study examines the pattern of alcohol use, alcohol-related diagnoses, and severity of other problems among a large sample of drug abusing/dependent participants from 10 CTN studies (see Related Studies, below) enrolled in community-based drug treatment programs across the country.

Primary Findings

Among opiate-primary (OP) clients, a prevalence rate for presence of AUD diagnosis was 38%.  Comparisons of OP clients with and without AUD revealed the former were more likely to have had a history of pervasive difficulties in psychosocial functioning.  Findings suggest the need for detection of and intervention for alcohol misuse at the outset of opiate treatment and support for the practice of availing medical, psychological, case management, and other support services.  A high AUD prevalence rate (45%) was found among stimulant-primary clients.  Among cocaine-primary clients, those with AUD were more likely to endorse poor psychiatric and psychosocial functioning and to perceive greater need for drug treatment.  Among amphetamine-primary clients, those with AUD were more likely to endorse poor psychiatric functioning.  Study findings document adverse influences of a common diagnostic feature of stimulant abusers.

Results Article: Hartzler B. Comparison of opiate-primary treatment seekers with and without alcohol use disorder. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 2010;39(2):114-123. [get article]

    Node Involvement

    Lead Node(s):

  • Pacific Northwest Node

  • All Participating Nodes:

  • Pacific Northwest Node