<--GAT-->

Study Links Depression, Substance Abuse in Veterans

by U.S. Medicine

October 12, 2016

NEW YORK—What are the patterns over time of depression, smoking, unhealthy alcohol use and other substance use among individuals receiving medical care, and when are integrated screening and treatment strategies warranted?

That was the question addressed recently in the journal AIDS and Behavior.1

New York University School of Medicine-led researchers employed the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) to measure depression, smoking, unhealthy alcohol use and other substance use, including stimulants, marijuana, heroin and opioids. The study team evaluated which conditions tended to co-occur within individuals, and how co-occurrence was temporally structured (i.e. concurrently, sequentially or discordantly).

Results indicate that current depression was associated with current use of every substance examined, with the exception of unhealthy alcohol use. Current unhealthy alcohol use and marijuana use also were consistently associated.

The study reports that current status was strongly predicted by prior status, with an odds ratio of 2.99, but that there were few other sequential relationships.

Associations in the HIV infected and uninfected subgroups were largely the same with some exceptions: Smoking preceded unhealthy alcohol use, and current smoking was associated with current depression in the HIV-infected subgroup only, with an OR 1.33-1.41 and OR 1.25-1.43, respectively.

Opioid use and current unhealthy alcohol use were negatively associated only in the HIV negative subgroup, OR 0.75.

“Patterns of depression, smoking, unhealthy alcohol use, and other substance use were temporally concordant, particularly with regard to depression and substance use,” the study authors concluded. “These patterns may inform future development of more integrated screening and treatment strategies.”

1 Ruggles KV, Fang Y, Tate J, Mentor SM, et. al. What are the Patterns Between Depression, Smoking, Unhealthy Alcohol Use, and Other Substance Use Among Individuals Receiving Medical Care? A Longitudinal Study of 5479 Participants. AIDS Behav. 2016 Jul 30. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27475945.

 


Comments are closed here.


Related Articles

VA Manages Drug Costs Better than Medicare Part D

ST. LOUIS – Medicare Part D could save more than $14 billion annually if it paid the same prices for top medications as the VA, according to a new study. A research letter published earlier... View Article

House Passes Bill to Create Education/Employment Arm of VA

WASHINGTON,—Legislators have reintroduced plans to create a fourth administration within the Department of Veterans Affairs—one dedicated to overseeing veterans’ education, transition and employment benefits. Currently these operations fall under the Veterans Benefits Administration, with VBA... View Article


U.S. Medicine Recommends


More From department of veterans affairs

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Manages Drug Costs Better than Medicare Part D

ST. LOUIS – Medicare Part D could save more than $14 billion annually if it paid the same prices for top medications as the VA, according to a new study. A research letter published earlier... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

House Passes Bill to Create Education/Employment Arm of VA

WASHINGTON,—Legislators have reintroduced plans to create a fourth administration within the Department of Veterans Affairs—one dedicated to overseeing veterans’ education, transition and employment benefits. Currently these operations fall under the Veterans Benefits Administration, with VBA... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Administrative Confusions Results in Little Oversight of VA’s Police Force

Suicides, Violence at VMACs Put Spotlight on Security WASHINGTON—As the number of suicides and other violent incidents at VA facilities grows, a spotlight is being thrown on VA’s internal police force and its ability to... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Veterans Using Dual Health Systems Have More Problems With Medications

CHARLESTON, SC—More than half of the patients treated by VA are also Medicare eligible, and that is increasing the risk for a range of prescription medication problems—from chronic disease medication nonadherence to opioid overdoses—among dual... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

All VA Healthcare Facilities to Be Completely Smoke-Free by October

New Directive Abolishes Designated Smoking Zones WASHINGTON—Starting in October, all VA healthcare facilities will be official no-smoking zones. While VA now permits smoking in designated areas, the department has issued a new policy restricting smoking... View Article

Subscribe to U.S. Medicine Print Magazine

U.S. Medicine is mailed free each month to physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and administrators working for Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and U.S. Public Health Service.

Subscribe Now

Receive Our Email Newsletter

Stay informed about federal medical news, clinical updates and reports on government topics for the federal healthcare professional.

Sign Up