Psychosocial correlates of empirical types of multiple drug abusers

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Drug use and psychosocial data were collected from 440 clients, average age 30.5 yrs, in 4 drug and alcohol treatment programs. Ss were administered the Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory, the Guilt Inventory, the Social Readjustment Rating Scale, a self-concept measure and 34 other psychosocial scales. A cluster analysis was performed on chronicity/frequency indices that had been calculated for each of 15 drug classes. Four multiple drug clusters were identified: (a) cocaine/other opiates and synthetics/methaqualone/illegal methadone; (b) inhalants/codeine/nonnarcotic analgesics; (c) marihuana/amphetamines/hallucinogens; (d) minor tranquilizers/barbiturates. Heroin and alcohol did not cluster with any other substances but were frequently used by this sample, and consequently were retained in further analyses, yielding 6 basic drug clusters. Next, a typology of drug abusers was developed empirically by means of proximity cluster analysis. Eight quantitatively and qualitatively distinct types of multiple drug abusers were identified solely by analysis of their standing on the use of the 6 basic clusters of drugs. Finally, the set of psychosocial measures was found to be differentially related to use of the 6 types of drugs and to the 8 types of drug abusers. These differential findings are discussed in terms of the adequacy of the theory underlying the measures and in terms of alternative analytic strategies. (42 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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