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Addict Behav. 2016 Feb;53:132-40. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.10.015. Epub 2015 Oct 17.

Psychometric modeling of abuse and dependence symptoms across six illicit substances indicates novel dimensions of misuse.

Author information

1
Center for Biomarker Research and Precision Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy, Brisbane, Australia. Electronic address: slclark2@vcu.edu.
2
Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Brisbane, Australia; Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia.
3
Center for Biomarker Research and Precision Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy, Brisbane, Australia.
4
Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Brisbane, Australia.

Abstract

AIMS:

This study explored the factor structure of DSM III-R/IV symptoms for substance abuse and dependence across six illicit substance categories in a population-based sample of males.

METHOD:

DSM III-R/IV drug abuse and dependence symptoms for cannabis, sedatives, stimulants, cocaine, opioids and hallucinogens from 4179 males born 1940-1970 from the population-based Virginia Adult Twin Study of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders were analyzed. Confirmatory factor analyses tested specific hypotheses regarding the latent structure of substance misuse for a comprehensive battery of 13 misuse symptoms measured across six illicit substance categories (78 items).

RESULTS:

Among the models fit, the latent structure of substance misuse was best represented by a combination of substance-specific factors and misuse symptom-specific factors. We found no support for a general liability factor to illicit substance misuse.

CONCLUSIONS:

Results indicate that liability to misuse illicit substances is drug class specific, with little evidence for a general liability factor. Additionally, unique dimensions capturing propensity toward specific misuse symptoms (e.g., tolerance, withdrawal) across substances were identified. While this finding requires independent replication, the possibility of symptom-specific misuse factors, present in multiple substances, raises the prospect of genetic, neurobiological and behavioral predispositions toward distinct, narrowly defined features of drug abuse and dependence.

KEYWORDS:

Cannabis; Cocaine; DSM; Dependence; Factor analysis; Opioids

PMID:
26517709
PMCID:
PMC4679450
DOI:
10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.10.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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