205495 Growth in Lifetime Prevalence of Substance Abuse among U.S. Adults with Disabilities Compared to the Increase in Substance Abuse in the General Residential Population without Disabilities: A Longitudinal Study of Self-Reported Data

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Raymond E. Glazier, PhD , Center for the Advancement of Rehabilitation & Disability Services, Abt Associates Inc., Cambridge, MA
Dwight Zach Smith, MD , Boston Healthcare System, Veterans Administration, Belmont, MA
Ryan Kling, MA , Abt Associates Inc., Cambridge, MA
In partial replication of a groundbreaking epidemiological study by Gilson, Chilcoat, and Stapleton (1996), we examined longitudinal data from the 1979 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) and its successor, the 2002-2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) to compare the self-reported lifetime prevalence of: marijuana use, use of certain illicit drugs (cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine), and abuse of prescription drugs for adults with disabilities, by age group and by average age, compared with the nondisabled adult residential population, as well as (where available) abuse of 4 specific classes of prescription drugs (analgesics, sedatives, stimulants, and tranquilizers) for all adults of average age with disabilities compared with all non-disabled adults.

We observed changes over time in patterns of SA in the general population and among adults with disabilities, where disability was defined as: 1) reported a work disability, 2) age under 65 (non-aged) and Medicare-eligible, or 3) adults under 65 receiving SSI benefits (for poor and disabled). Findings of this investigation are generally in line with previous findings that SA among individuals with disabilities is markedly greater than among the nondisabled, non-institutionalized general population. However, overall increases in lifetime prevalence of SA among both disabled and non-disabled populations over this 28-year time span were striking both in volume and type, indicating a greater need for targeted SA prevention efforts and an increased demand for SA treatment services, availability of which is already lagging demand, for accessible SA treatment slots in particular. [See Krahn et al., 2006]

Learning Objectives:
Compare substance abuse (SA) prevalence among persons with disabilities to that in the general population Assess the implications for substance abuse prevention programs and outreach Discuss the implications for SA treatment programs and SA treatment facilities planning

Keywords: Disability, Substance Abuse

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My research has focussed on disability issues for over 15 years,
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.