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Patients with alcohol and drug use disorders more likely to have personality disorders

The JAMA Network Journals

CHICAGO - The prevalence of personality disorders among patients with alcohol and drug use disorders is significant in the United States population, according to an article in the April issue of The Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Very little information is available on the co-occurrence of different personality disorders (PDs) and alcohol and drug use disorders in the U.S. population, according to background information in the article. Therefore, Bridget F. Grant, Ph.D., of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda, Md., and colleagues investigated this issue. The researchers used data collected during interviews conducted as part of the 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (n=43,093). Respondents to the survey were 18 years and older, and lived in the United States.

The prevalence rates of any alcohol or drug use disorder for the previous year were 8.5 percent, and 2.0 percent, respectively. The researchers found that among individuals with a current alcohol use disorder, 28.6 percent had at least 1 PD, and 47.7 percent of those with a current drug use disorder had at least 1 PD. PDs and alcohol and drug use disorders were significantly associated, the researchers write. Individuals with alcohol use disorders were almost five times as likely to have antisocial PD or histrionic PD, and were three times as likely to have a dependent PD. Individuals with drug use disorders were 11 times more likely to have antisocial PD and dependent PD, and eight times as likely to have histrionic PD.

The researchers also found that associations between obsessive-compulsive, histrionic, schizoid, and antisocial PDs and specific alcohol and drug use disorders were significantly stronger among women than men, whereas the association between dependent PD and drug dependence were significantly greater among men than women.

"The co-occurrence of PDs with alcohol and drug use disorders is pervasive in the U.S. population," write the authors. "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]."


(Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2004;61:361-368. Available post-embargo at

For more information, contact JAMA/Archives Media Relations at 312-464-JAMA (5262) or e-mail .

To contact Bridget F. Grant, Ph.D., call Ann Bradley at 301-443-3860.

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