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September 1974

Predictors of Multiple Drug Abuse

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. Dr. Rimmer is now with the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1974;31(3):414-418. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1974.01760150116017

As part of a larger interview study previously reported, 100 regular marihuana users, and their use of other drugs have been analyzed. Forty-eight subjects were found to have used two or less other drugs, and 52 were found to have used more than two other drugs (mean 7.5).

Early antecedent and concomitant behavioral events significantly associated with "polydrug" use were sought to describe a possible syndrome. Childhood discipline contacts, truancy and dropout, age of first illicit drug use, first illicit drug not being marihuana, poor high school socialization, inordinate parental conflicts, poor adolescent adjustment, antisocial behavior, police contacts, homosexual experiences, and self-defeating behavior in adolescence were found to predict later polydrug use from among this population. The methodologic pitfalls of distinguishing antecedents from concomitants are discussed.