Greater elevation in risk for nicotine dependence per pack of cigarettes smoked among those with an anxiety disorder

Matt G. Kushner, Kyle R. Menary, Eric W. Maurer, Paul Thuras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Recent work shows that the time from the initial use of nicotine, cannabis, and alcohol to the onset of dependence on these substances is shorter ("telescoped") in anxiety-disordered indi- viduals. Previously, we hypothesized that telescoping may result from a shared neurobiology underlying both anxiety disorders and dependence. This hypothesis implies that telescoping occurs because individuals with an anxiety disorder transition to dependence with less overall drug exposure ("dependence susceptibility"). To investigate this further, we examined an estimate of the amount smoked (rather than the time transpired) from smoking initiation milestones to the onset of nicotine dependence in those with and without an anxiety disorder. Method: We used the subset of respondents in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) Wave 1 who reported hav- ing smoked at least 100 cigarettes (N = 18,013). All data were based on face-to-face interviews. Results: Individuals with any anxiety disorder transitioned to nicotine dependence after smoking fewer total cigarettes than did individuals with no anxiety disorder. Furthermore, those with more than one anxiety disorder transitioned to nicotine dependence after smoking fewer cigarettes than did those with one anxiety disorder only. Several potentially confounding covariates were controlled for in these analyses. Conclusions: Dependence susceptibility is a novel concept with the potential to inform theoretical accounts of and prevention strate- gies for substance dependence among those with an anxiety disorder. In addition to nicotine, our theory and past data suggest that dependence susceptibility for other addictive substances (e.g., alcohol) also would be found among those with an anxiety disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)920-924
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of studies on alcohol and drugs
Volume73
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2012

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