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Lifetime Comorbidity of DSM-IV Mood and Anxiety Disorders and Specific Drug Use Disorders: Results From the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions

J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67(2):247-258

Objective: To present nationally representative data on the lifetime prevalence and comorbidity of 8 specific drug use disorders, separately for abuse and dependence, and mood and anxiety disorders.

Method: Data come from a representative sample (N = 43,093) of the United States civilian, noninstitutional population 18 years and older. Diagnoses of mood, anxiety, and drug use disorders were based upon face-to-face personal interviews using the Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule-DSM-IV Version (AUDADIS-IV).

Results: Associations between specific mood and anxiety disorders and specific drug use disorders were virtually all positive and statistically significant (p < .05). In general, associations were greater for dependence than abuse, greater for mood than anxiety disorders, and in some instances stronger among women than men (p < .05). Large odds ratios also were observed for individuals with comorbid mood and anxiety disorders.

Conclusion: The comorbidity between specific mood and anxiety disorders and specific drug use disorders is pervasive in the U.S. population. Findings suggest that comorbid psychiatric disorders may increase the risk of greater involvement in more serious illicit drug use disorders and that the greater comorbidity between mood and anxiety and drug use disorders among women may reflect greater deviance and psychopathology among drug-using women than men. Findings also suggest that drug abuse prevention and intervention efforts should address other psychiatric conditions. Further, definitions of drug use disorder phenotypes should give careful consideration to other psychiatric conditions as meaningful characteristics of case heterogeneity.