Alcoholism and alcohol dependence in narcotic addicts: A prospective study with a five-year follow-up

Jack L. Croughan, J. Philip Miller, Barbara Y. Whitman, Jay G. Schober

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper we report on the prediction of mortality, alcohol dependence, and the rate of previously undiagnosed alcoholism in male and female narcotic addicts. These subjects (A' = 200) were initially interviewed upon admission to the Clinical Research Center, National Institute of Mental Health, Lexington, Kentucky, and prospectively followed-up and reinterviewed 5 years later (N = 187). The results indicate that alcoholism and alcohol dependence are very prevalent in this sample of addicts. A history of diagnosable alcoholism obtained at admission was a significant predictor of mortality during the follow-up period whereas a history of heavy drinking was associated with increased mortality but not significantly. About one-half of the males and one-quarter of the females met criteria for alcohol dependence during the follow-up period. Both a prior diagnosis of alcoholism and a history of heavy drinking were significant predictors of episodes of alcohol dependence during the follow-up period. In addition, the proportion of subjects positive for alcoholism increased between two- and threefold during the 5-year period. Finally, a history of heavy drinking at any time within the 4 years immediately prior to admission significantly predicted subsequent episodes during the follow-up period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1981

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