Personality Disorders Found in Those Who Abuse Drugs, Alcohol

The finding could have implications for treatment approaches

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TUESDAY, April 6, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- People with drug and alcohol use disorders are more likely than other people to have personality disorders.

That's the conclusion of a U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism study in the April issue of the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.

Researchers examined data collected as part of the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. They found that among people with a current alcohol use disorder, 28.6 percent had at least one personality disorder. Among people with a current drug use disorder, 47.7 percent had at least one personality disorder.

People with alcohol use disorders were nearly five times more likely to have antisocial personality disorder or histrionic personality disorder, and were three times more likely to have a dependant personality disorder. People with a drug use disorder were 11 times more likely to have antisocial personality disorder and dependent personality disorder, and eight times more likely to have histrionic personality disorder.

The study also found that associations between obsessive-compulsive, histrionic, schizoid, and antisocial personality disorders and specific alcohol and drug abuse disorders were much stronger among women, while the association between dependent personality disorder and drug dependence was much greater among men.

"The co-occurrence of PDs with alcohol and drug use disorders is pervasive in the U.S. population. Results highlight the need for further research on the underlying structure of these disorders and the treatment implications of these disorders when comorbid (when they occur together)," the study authors said in a prepared statement.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about drug abuse and drug addiction.

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, April 5, 2004

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