Stimulant use disorders: characteristics and comorbidity in an Australian population sample

Sara, Grant, Burgess, Philip, Harris, Meredith, Malhi, Gin S., Whiteford, Harvey and Hall, Wayne (2012) Stimulant use disorders: characteristics and comorbidity in an Australian population sample. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 46 12: 1173-1181. doi:10.1177/0004867412461057


Author Sara, Grant
Burgess, Philip
Harris, Meredith
Malhi, Gin S.
Whiteford, Harvey
Hall, Wayne
Title Stimulant use disorders: characteristics and comorbidity in an Australian population sample
Journal name Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-8674
1440-1614
Publication date 2012-12-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0004867412461057
Volume 46
Issue 12
Start page 1173
End page 1181
Total pages 9
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: To describe the correlates of stimulant use disorders (abuse, dependence) in an Australian population sample, to compare the characteristics of stimulant users with and without stimulant use disorders and to describe the patterns of service use and help-seeking in people with stimulant use disorders.

Methods:
Data were drawn from the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, which sampled 8841 residents of private dwellings in Australia in 2007. Lifetime DSM-IV substance use and mental disorder diagnoses were obtained from interviews conducted by lay interviewers, using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Socio-demographic, socio-economic and clinical correlates of stimulant use disorders were identified using binary logistic regression models. Stimulant users with and without stimulant use disorders were compared to non-stimulant users via multinomial logistic regression models.

Results: Compared to Australians without stimulant use disorder, people with stimulant use disorders were younger, more likely to be male, of non-heterosexual orientation and born in Australia, but were not more socially disadvantaged. Lifetime comorbidity rates were high: 79% of persons with stimulant use disorders had a lifetime alcohol use disorder, 73% a lifetime cannabis use disorder, and more than one third a lifetime mood or anxiety disorder. Stimulant use disorders were associated with a family history of substance use, affective disorders and psychosis. One in five people with lifetime stimulant use disorders had been imprisoned, homeless or hospitalised for substance or mental health problems, and 13% reported at least one symptom of psychosis. Nearly half had sought help for substance or mental health problems, primarily from General Practitioners (GPs), psychologists or psychiatrists.

Conclusions: Stimulant use disorders in a representative population sample are associated with significant comorbidity and harm. Many persons with stimulant use disorders had sought care and found this helpful. There is scope for screening and intervention in this group.
Keyword Stimulant disorders
Stimulant dependence
Stimulant abuse
Harmful use
Amphetamine
Methamphetamine
Cocaine
Prevalence
Associations
Service use
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
Official 2013 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
 
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