It's Common for Drug Abusers to Have Antisocial Personality Disorders
According to a new study, people who abuse illicit drugs are more likely to suffer from a variety of antisocial personality disorders.
Akinso: A study conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, showed that people who abuse illicit drugs are more likely to suffer from a variety of anti-social personality disorders. Scientists from both institutes gathered findings from the 2001 to 2002 "National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions" — according to Doctor Wilson Compton, Director of the NIDA's Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research.
Compton: We studied the relationship of drug-use disorders — things like dependence on marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, alcohol — to a condition called 'anti-social personality disorder'. And, that's a condition characterized by people who don't follow social rules; they're very-high-sensation seekers; they're sometimes remorseless. We wanted to look at the relationship of those conditions to all the different drug disorders — and we found a very strong relationship.
Akinso: Previous research data, using the same survey, showed that almost 48-percent of people who abused drugs also had at least one personality disorder. Doctor Compton believes finding the problem early may present more answers.
Compton: This study points to a very strong relationship of drug use to personality disorder. So, it tells us that — for prevention — we may want to look at children who exhibit the early signs of this kind of personality feature — which could occur way before they start using drugs. So, as we identify children who are at risk for developing conduct disorder — or anti-social personality — they'd be good candidates for prevention interventions.
Akinso: This is Wally Akinso, at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.