Category: Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders
Recent research suggests that non-clinical adults who smoke report higher levels of nicotine dependence as their obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptom severity increases, implicating OCD phenomena as a possible risk factor for the maintenance of one type of substance use (i.e., smoking). However, the link between OCD symptom severity and other types of substance use, specifically use of alcohol and drugs, has never been systematically investigated in those who smoke. Thus, to further examine the link between OCD symptom severity and substance use in a non-clinical sample of those who smoke, this study recruited a community sample of 528 adults with nicotine dependence, excluding participants who exhibited alcohol and drug dependence (though reported drug and alcohol abuse were permitted). Given the heterogeneous phenotypic expression of OCD, we opted to separately examine OCD dimensions (i.e., washing, checking, ordering, hoarding, neutralizing, and obsessing) and their association with alcohol and drug use. Participants completed a battery of validated measurements as a part of a larger study, including measures of OCD dimensions, demographics, depression, and substance use measures. Several multiple regression models were carried out, all of which included a block of control variables—gender, age, income, marital status, education, minority status, and depression severity—followed by the entry of a single OCD symptom dimension. Results indicated that more alcohol use was associated with higher levels of severity for several OCD symptom dimensions: obsessing t(519) = 2.289, p=.022, β=.204, hoarding, t(519) = 2.591, p=.010, β=.226, ordering, t(519) = 2.030, p=.043, β=.144, and checking, t(519) = 2.638, p=.009, β=.229. Similarly, increased drug use was associated with increased severity for several OCD symptom dimensions: hoarding, t(520) =3.072, p=.002, β=.113, ordering, t(520) = 3.323, p=.001, β=.100, and neutralizing, t(520) = 2.016, p=.044, β=.075.These results provide preliminary evidence implicating specific OCD symptom dimensions as risk factors for alcohol and drug use in a non-clinical sample of adults who smoke. Findings for hoarding and ordering symptoms may be particularly important given their associations with both drug and alcohol use. The findings from the current study align with previous research on OCD phenomena and smoking maintenance and will be discussed in the context of the reactive transdiagnostic vulnerabilities model of smoking and affective psychopathology.
Illinois Institute of Technology