Alcohol drinking problems among New York City residents after the September 11 terrorist attacks

D. Vlahov, S. Galea, J. Ahern, S. Rudenstine, H. Resnick, D. Kilpatrick, R. Crum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent studies have shown an increase in alcohol use in New York City in the months after the September 11 terrorist attacks; thus far there have been no studies documenting changes in drinking problems. In 2002, a random digit dial phone survey was conducted of residents of New York City. This study provided us with estimates of the prevalence of alcohol drinking problems among residents of New York City 6 months after September 11 compared with the 6 months before September 11. Among 1,570 adults, the prevalence of drinking problems was 3.7% in the 6 months before September 11 and 4.2% in the 6 months after September 11. The incidence of drinking problems among those without drinking problems before September 11 was 2.2%. Persons with incident drinking problems were more likely than those without to report symptoms consistent with posttraumatic stress disorder (17.4% vs. 0.4% in those without drinking problems and 1.4% in nondrinkers), and depression (23.5% vs 5.6% vs. 4.9%, respectively) after September 11. After a disaster, a link between drinking problems and posttraumatic stress disorder or depression should be assessed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1295-1311
Number of pages17
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006


  • Alcohol
  • Depression
  • Disaster
  • Epidemiology
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder, substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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