Crack users with conduct disorder have greater association with violence, trauma, and psychiatric comorbidities

Mayra Pachado

M.P. Pachado, D.S. Souza, J.N. Scherer, F. Pechansky, F.H.P. Kessler, S. Faller. Center for Alcohol and Drugs Research, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Background: Conduct disorder (CD), substance abuse, mental disorder and violence have been research targets for a long time now in the scientific field. However, there’s still no conformance about the association of these constructs. This study aims to compare in and outpatient crack users with and without symptoms of Conduct Disorder.

Methods: A cross-sectional sample of 720 current adult crack users from outpatient and inpatient Brazilian clinics. Participants were evaluated with ASI-6 and MINI. Data were analyzed using SPSS v.21. Participants were divided into two groups, individuals who presented Conduct Disorder (n=354) and other crack users (n=366). Data were compared by Chi-square test. A Poisson Regression was performed later.

Results: Crack users with symptoms of Conduct Disorder (CD) showed a higher prevalence of Social Anxiety (22.9%, p=0.001), PTSD (20.2 %, p=0.003), Alcohol Abuse (12.8%, p = 0.002), Lifetime Psychotic Symptoms (36% p<0.001). Medians of age of first use of substance were lower for patients with CD than of those with no CD symptoms (marijuana - 13 and 15 years old, respectively; cocaine = 16 and 18 years old; crack = 21 and 23 years old; inhalants = 15 and 17 years old). Individuals with CD symptoms showed a higher association with violence, crime and trauma (intake before 18 years old – PR 1.3, p=0.004; physically injured by someone known – PR 1.2 p=0.011; victim of a violent crime – PR 1.1, p=0.044; have been in a life-threatening situation – PR 1.2, p=0.011).

Conclusions: This study corroborates literature pointing that CD is a serious condition that can bring a wide range of harm, not only to the individuals, but also to the community. Hence, it is relevant to emphasize that crack users with CD are at risk of committing violent actions and be exposed to traumatic situations, worsening their condition. These results may guide therapeutic strategies in Brazil's public health.

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Latin America & Caribbean
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