[Skip to Content]
Sign In
Individual Sign In
Create an Account
Institutional Sign In
OpenAthens Shibboleth
[Skip to Content Landing]
Article
July 1993

A 24-Year Follow-up of California Narcotics Addicts

Author Affiliations

From the Neuropsychiatric Institute, UCLA, Los Angeles, Calif.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1993;50(7):577-584. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1993.01820190079008
Abstract

Objective:  This study examined longitudinal patterns of narcotics use, other substance use, criminal involvement, morbidity, and mortality among narcotics addicts.

Design:  A 24-year follow-up study. Data were obtained from admission records and two face-to-face interviews conducted in 1974-1975 and 1985-1986.

Participants:  Five hundred eighty-one narcotics addicts admitted to the California Civil Addict Program during the years 1962 through 1964.

Results:  Most of this sample initiated narcotics use before age 20 years and had a mean age at program admission of 25.4 years. In 1974-1975, 13.8% of the sample died and 28.6% tested negative for opiates. Corresponding rates in 1985-1986 were 27.7% and 25.0%, respectively. Substance use and criminal involvement remained high among this sample into their late 40s. In any given year during the 10 years prior to the 1985-1986 interview, less than 10% of the sample participated in community-based treatment programs such as methadone maintenance. Disability, long periods of heavy alcohol use, heavy criminal involvement, and tobacco use were among the strongest correlates of mortality.

Conclusions:  The results suggest that the eventual cessation of narcotics use is a very slow process, unlikely to occur for some addicts, especially if they have not ceased use by their late 30s.

References
1.
Jarvik ME.  The drug dilemma: manipulating the demand .  Science . 1990;250:387-392.Crossref
2.
Office of National Drug Control Policy.  National Drug Control Strategy . Washington, DC: The White House; 1990.
3.
Tonry M, Wilson JQ, eds.  Drugs and Crime . Chicago, III: University of Chicago Press; 1990.
4.
Curran JW, Jaffe HW, Hardy AM, Morgan WM, Selik RM, Dondero TJ.  Epidemiology of HIV infection and AIDS in the United States .  Science . 1988;239:610-616.Crossref
5.
Novick DM, Khan I, Kreek MJ.  AIDS and infection with hepatitis viruses in individuals administering drugs by injection .  Bull Narc . 1988;33:15-26.
6.
McGlothlin WH, Anglin MD, Wilson BD. An Evaluation of the California Civil Addict Program, NIDA Services R Monograph Series. Washington, DC: Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare; 1977. US DHEW publication (ADM) 78-558.
7.
Nurco D, Bonito A, Lerner M, Balter M.  Studying addicts over time: methodology and preliminary findings .  Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse . 1975;2:183-196.Crossref
8.
Hser Y, Anglin MD, Chou C-P.  Reliability of retrospective self-report by narcotics addicts .  Psychological Assessment: J Consult Clin Psychol . 1992;4:207-213.Crossref
9.
Speckart GR, Anglin MD.  Narcotics use and crime: an overview of recent research advances .  Contemp Drug Probl . 1986;13:741-769.
10.
Maddox JF, Desmond DP.  Careers of Opioid Users . New York, NY: Praeger Publishers; 1981.
11.
O'Donnell JA. Narcotic Addicts in Kentucky. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office; 1969.
12.
Anglin MD, Brecht ML, Maddahian E.  Pretreatment characteristics and treatment performance of legally coerced versus voluntary methadone maintenance admissions .  Criminology . 1989;27:537-557.Crossref
13.
Hartjen CA, Mitchell SM, Washburne NF.  Dynamics of Treatment in Therapeutic Communities: Technical Report No. 13 . Newark, NJ: Rutgers University; 1976.
14.
Winick C.  Maturing out of narcotics addiction .  Bull Narc . 1962;14:1-7.
15.
Simpson DD, Joe GW, Lehman WEK, Sells SB.  Addiction careers: etiology, treatment, and 12-year follow-up procedures .  J Drug Issues . 1986;16:107-121.
16.
Vaillant GE.  A 20-year follow-up of New York narcotic addicts .  Arch Gen Psychiatry . 1973;29:237-241.Crossref
17.
Anglin MD, McGlothlin WH. Outcome of narcotic addict treatment in California. In: Tims F, Ludford J, eds. Drug Abuse Treatment Evaluation: Strategies, Progress, and Prospects Rockville, Md: US Dept of Health and Human Services, National Institute on Drug Abuse; 1984:106-128. Research Monograph No. 51, Dept of Health and Human Services publication No. ADM 84-1349.
18.
Anglin MD, Hser Yl.  Treatment of drug abuse . In: Tonry M, Wilson JQ, eds.  Drugs and Crime . Chicago, III: University of Chicago Press; 1990;13:393-460.
19.
Henningfield JE, Clayton R, Pollin W.  Involvement of tobacco in alcoholism and illicit drug use .  Br J Addict . 1990;85:279-291.Crossref
20.
Carroll JF, Malloy TE.  Combined treatment of alcohol and drug dependent persons: a literature review and evaluation .  Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse . 1977;4:343-364.Crossref
21.
Battjes RJ.  Smoking as an issue in alcohol and drug abuse treatment .  Addict Behav . 1988;13:225-230.Crossref
×