Category: Addictive Behaviors
Purpose: The current study examines the relationship between baseline smoking measures and alcohol use before and during treatment in a sample of women receiving treatment for an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).
Method: Women (n=138) with AUD, average age 48.6 years, were randomly assigned to 12 sessions of individual or group female-specific Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). Drinking (percent drinking days, PDD; percent heavy drinking days, PHDD; and mean drinks per drinking day, MDPDD) was assessed for 90 days prior to the last drink before baseline and throughout treatment. Lifetime and current tobacco use and AUD (SCID I-DSM-IV abuse and dependence symptoms) were assessed at baseline.
Results: Over a third of the sample reported being current smokers at baseline: 23.9% (N=33) reported smoking ‘everyday’ and 10.1% (N=14) reported smoking ‘some days’. On average, smokers rated their interest in quitting smoking as a 7.83 (SD=2.71) on a scale of 1-10, but only 23.4% reported plans to quit in the next 30 days. Very few smokers believed the best time to stop smoking was while quitting drinking (8.7%) and others believed they should first achieve some success in quitting drinking (50.0%) or stated they had no preference for the timing of quitting smoking (41.3%). Smokers were less likely to be treatment completers than were non-smokers X2(N=138)=5.824, pt(54.75)=3.22, pt(42.62)=2.70, p=.01), such that smokers (S) drank almost 3 standard drinks more on average than non-smokers (NS) (baseline S: M=9.33, SD=6.49, NS: M=6.14, SD=2.75; end-of-treatment S: M=6.81, SD=5.29, NS: M=4.06, SD=3.46). However, smoking status was not significantly related to drinking outcomes during the 3 months of treatment (PDD, PHDD, MDPDD), once controlling for the number of sessions attended.
Conclusions: Findings suggest many alcohol-dependent women seeking alcohol treatment also smoke cigarettes. Despite having strong interest in stopping smoking, many of these women were not motivated to stop smoking during treatment for AUD. Targeted interventions to address co-occurring smoking and drinking are needed for this at-risk group of smokers given evidence for greater AUD severity and treatment attrition compared to non-smokers.
Krysten Bold– Yale School of Medicine
Rachel Rosen– Clinical Research Assistant, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts
Marc Steinberg– Associate Professor, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, New Jersey
Elizabeth Epstein– University of Massachusetts Medical School
Barbara McCrady– Distinguished Professor of Psychology & Director, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Jill Williams– Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Clinical Research Assistant
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
New Brunswick, New Jersey
Distinguished Professor of Psychology & Director
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico