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Comment & Response
February 2014

Does Self-medication Predict the Persistence or Rather the Recurrence of Alcohol Dependence?

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Interdisciplinary Center Psychopathology and Emotion Regulation, Groningen, the Netherlands
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • 3Department of Psychiatry and EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
JAMA Psychiatry. 2014;71(2):205. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.2985

To the Editor Prominent etiologic models that aim to explain the comorbidity of mood disorders and alcohol dependence suggest that alcohol use may be a strategy of self-medicating distressing mood symptoms.1 This is line with studies that identified depressive and anxiety disorders as risk factors of the incidence of alcohol dependence.2 The current study of Crum et al3 provides convincing evidence that self-medication with alcohol indeed plays an important role in the incidence of alcohol dependence. However, we have some concerns regarding their analyses on the persistence of alcohol dependence.

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