TOBACCO USE IS ASSOCIATED WITH MORE SEVERE ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE, AS ASSESSED BY THE NUMBER OF DSM-IV CRITERIA, IN SWEDISH MALE TYPE 1 ALCOHOLICS


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Abstract

BackgroundA high smoking prevalence has been reported in treatment-seeking alcohol-dependent individuals. It has also been suggested that alcohol-dependent individuals who smoke may have a more severe course and greater severity of their alcoholism.MethodsThis study evaluated the impact of tobacco use in 108 Swedish male type 1 alcohol-dependent individuals, recruited by advertisement in a local daily newspaper. They were sub-grouped into smokers (N=50), snuffers (N=12) and tobacco nonusers (N=46). The number of criteria for the diagnosis of alcohol dependence was used to assess the severity of alcohol dependence.ResultsThe smokers were significantly younger compared to the tobacco non-using group, and also younger at their onset of excessive alcohol consumption. Both smokers and snuffers fulfilled significantly more DSM-IV criteria for alcohol dependence than tobacco nonusers. Furthermore, significantly higher proportions of smokers and snuffers fulfilled the criteria no 2 (experiencing withdrawal syndrome) and no 7 (continuing to use alcohol despite problems).ConclusionsThese findings indicate that not only smoking, but also snuffing, is associated with greater severity of alcohol dependence, as reflected by the greater number of DSM-IV criteria.

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