Sedative use disorders in opiate-dependent patients: Association with psychiatric and other substance use disorders

Mary Ann Chutuape, Robert K. Brooner, Maxine Stitzer

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Opiate-dependent patients (N = 231), classified by sedative disorder status, were characterized according to DSM-IIIR on substance use and psychiatric disorders. Twenty-one percent currently (CUR+) had sedative use disorder, 39% had a history (HX+) of sedative use disorder, and 40% had no history (HX-) of this disorder. Several group differences were found. The HX+ and CUR+ groups had more lifetime drug use disorders (means = 4.5 and 4.3 vs. 3.2 in the HX- group), including alcohol, cannabis, stimulants, cocaine, and hallucinogens. In contrast, other psychiatric disorders (e.g., anxiety and depression) were low in prevalence and did not differ across groups, with the exception of a higher prevalence of antisocial personality disorder in the HX+ and CUR+ groups (39.6% and 38.5% vs. 17.9% in HX- group). The results suggest that sedative use disorder is related more to a severe spectrum of multiple substance abuse than it is to self-medication of underlying mood or anxiety disorders.


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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