Illicit drug use by persons with disabilities: Insights from the national household survey on drug abuse

S. F. Gilson, H. D. Chilcoat, J. M. Stapleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives. This study sought to evaluate the association of drug use with disability in a representative sample of the US household population. Methods. The use of illicit drugs and alcohol reported by respondents in the 1991 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse who identified themselves as 'disabled, unable to work' was compared with respondents without disabilities. Results. Among younger adults (18-24 years), persons with diabilities were more likely than those without disabilities to report that they had used heroin (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 6.89; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.35, 35.1) or crack cocaine (OR = 6.38; 95% CI = 1.05, 38.6). Among older adults (35 years and older), persons with disabilities were more likely to report the use of sedatives (OR = 2.46; 95% CI = 1.21, 4.94) or tranquilizers (OR = 2.18; 95% CI = 1.08; 4.42) not medically prescribed. Conclusions. These results suggest that use of illicit drugs is a potentially serious problem among persons with disabilities and requires both research and clinical attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1613-1615
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Volume86
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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