JAMA Psychiatry Study Highlights
Rosa M. Crum, M.D., M.H.S., of the Johns Hopkins Health Institutions, Baltimore, Md., and colleagues examined whether self-medicating mood symptoms is associated with the increased probability of the onset and persistence of alcohol dependence.
The study included a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population with drinkers at risk for alcohol dependence among the 43,093 adults surveyed in 20001 and 2002; 34,653 of whom were reinterviewed in 2004 and 2005.
The study results indicate that the report of alcohol self-medication of mood symptoms was associated with increased odds of incident alcohol dependence at follow-up (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 3.10) and persistence of dependence (AOR, 3.45).
“Drinking to alleviate mood symptoms is associated with the development of alcohol dependence and its persistence once dependence develops. These associations occur among individuals with subthreshold mood symptoms, with DSM-IV affective disorders, and for those who have received treatment. Drinking to self-medicate mood symptoms may be a potential target for prevention and early intervention efforts aimed at reducing the occurrence of alcohol dependence,” the study concludes.
JAMA Psychiatry. Published online May 1, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.1098.