Parental history of substance use disorders (SUD) and SUD in offspring: A controlled family study of bipolar disorder

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Background and Objectives:Adolescents with bipolar disorder (BPD) have been previously shown to be at very high risk for substance use disorders (SUD). We now examine the influence of a parental history of substance use disorders on SUD risk in offspring with and without BPD.Methods:We studied 190 parents ascertained through 104 adolescent BPD probands and 189 parents ascertained through 98 control probands using structured interviews. We compared the prevalence of SUD using logistic regression.Results:While adjusting for BPD in our combined sample, probands with a parental history of SUD were more likely to have an alcohol use disorder compared to probands without a parental history. Probands with a parental history of SUD were not more likely to have a drug use disorder or overall SUD compared to probands without a parental history. BPD in the offspring did not pose any additional risk between parental history of SUD and offspring SUD.Conclusion:Alcohol use disorders were more common in the offspring of parents with a SUD history compared to parents without SUD and the risk was not influenced by offspring BPD.Scientific Significance:Clarifying the mechanisms linking parental SUD to offspring SUD, particularly in children and adolescents with BPD, would help clinicians to educate and monitor high-risk families, which would facilitate strategies to mitigate risks associated with parental substance abuse. (Am J Addict 2014;23:440–446)

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