Intermittent Explosive Disorder Linked To Higher Risk of Substance Abuse

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Emil F. Coccaro, M.D. Ellen C. Manning Professor Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience The University of Chicago Chicago, Illinois 60637

Dr. Emil Coccaro

Emil F. Coccaro, M.D.
Ellen C. Manning Professor
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
The University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois 60637

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Aggressive behavior and drug use have been related for years but this study shows people with problematic aggression (Intermittent Explosive Disorder: IED) are in fact at risk for developing alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis use disorders and that the onset of problematic aggression (IED) begins before the onset of the drug use.

The increased risk for alcohol use disorder was nearly six-fold higher, the increased risk for cannabis use disorder was seven-fold higher, and the increased risk for tobacco use disorder  was four-fold higher. In addition, the presence of IED increased the severity of the substance use disorder.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: That Intermittent Explosive Disorder and drug use of certain kinds are related and that individuals who show problematic aggression in their early teens should be treated for their aggression and that this might reduce later substance abuse.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Following young people at risk for aggression, prospectively, to see if treating aggression at an early age can reduce later onset of drug abuse.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response:Intermittent Explosive Disorder is a biological disorder. It is not simply “bad behavior” that needs an “attitude adjustment”. It affects 3.6% of the US population and is associated with brain abnormalities in structure and in function that increase the chance that these individuals will react aggressively in the context of a social threat.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Intermittent Explosive Disorder and Substance Use Disorder: Analysis of the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Sample
Emil F. Coccaro, MD; Jennifer R. Fanning, PhD; and Royce Lee, MD
J Clin Psychiatry 2017
10.4088/JCP.15m10306
Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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