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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2007 Apr;88 Suppl 1:S71-84. Epub 2007 Jan 16.

Personality disorders in early adolescence and the development of later substance use disorders in the general population.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Assessments of personality disorder (PD) and conduct disorder (CD) in a random community sample at mean age 13 were employed to predict subsequent substance abuse disorder (SUD), trajectories of symptoms of abuse or dependence on alcohol, marijuana, or other illicit substances, and hazard of initiating marijuana use over the subsequent decade. Personality disorders and conduct disorder were associated with diagnoses and symptoms of SUDs in every model and their effects were independent of correlated family risks, participant sex, and other Axis I disorders. Specific elevated PD symptoms in early adolescence were also associated with differential trajectories of already initiated SUD symptoms as well as elevated risk for future onset of SUD symptoms. For several models the greatest of these effects were shown for borderline PD and for conduct disorder, the predecessor of adult antisocial PD. Passive-aggressive PD also showed independent elevation effects on substance use symptoms for alcohol and marijuana. Analyses over 30 years suggest that Cluster B PD (borderline, histrionic, narcissistic) are independent risks for development of SUD and warrant clinical attention.

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