Do specific anxiety disorders show specific drug problems

Andrew Page, G. Andrews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Web of Science)


Objective: Comorbidity between anxiety and substance use disorders was examined. The hypothesis was tested that social phobics may report greater problem alcohol use (if alcohol is used to manage social anxiety) while problem use of sedative-hypnotics may be greater in people with panic (who may be over-prescribed anxiolytics because they repeatedly seek medical assistance).Method: Self-reported lifetime rates of drug and alcohol problems were assessed with the computerised Diagnostic Interview Schedule - Revised. Subjects were 146 consecutive patients treated for panic disorder (with and without agoraphobia) and social phobia at the Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety Disorders.Results: High prevalences of alcohol problems (three times that expected) and problem use of sedative hypnotics (eight times that expected) were found in all diagnoses. Social phobics exhibited comparatively high rates of problem alcohol use, but no diagnostic specific differences in problem sedative-hypnotic use were found.Conclusion: Routine screening for drug and alcohol problems is necessary for patients with anxiety disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-414
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 1996


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