Background: Although cooccurrence of nonsubstance use disorders (non-SUDs) and substance use is well-established in the literature, most of what we know in this regard is derived from studies that have recruited predominantly White sample populations. As a result, there is a gap in knowledge on this link among low-income African Americans (AAs). There is also a need to understand how low-income AA men and women differ in these associations. Objective: To study whether there is an association between number of non-SUDs and amount of alcohol consumption by AA adults, and whether this association varies between AA men and women. Methods: This cross-sectional study recruited a nonrandom sample of 150 AA adults with non-SUDs (i.e., major depression, bipolar disorders, obsessive–compulsive disorder, paranoid disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and schizoaffective disorder). The independent variable was the number of non-SUDs. The dependent variable was the amount of alcohol consumption. Age, socioeconomic status (educational attainment and household income), and self-rated health were covariates. Gender was the moderator. Linear regression models were used to analyze the data. Results: A higher number of non-SUDs was not associated with a higher amount of alcohol use in the pooled sample of AA adults. We, however, found a significant interaction between gender and number of non-SUDs on the amount of alcohol use, suggesting a stronger effect of non-SUDs on alcohol consumption in AA men than in AA women. Gender-stratified linear regression models showed a positive association between number of non-SUDs and amount of alcohol consumption in AA men but not in AA women. Conclusion: Non-SUDs impact alcohol use of AA men but not women. Future research should test whether AA men may have a higher tendency to turn to alcohol to regulate their emotions and cope with psychological pain due to multiple non-SUDs. The results also suggest that integration of services for SUDs and non-SUDs may be more relevant to provision of mental health services for AA men than AA women.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.