The Association Between Heroin Use and Anxiety Sensitivity Among Inner-City Individuals in Residential Drug Use Treatment

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Heroin, Crack/cocaine, Anxiety sensitivity, Assessment, Vulnerability

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The current study represents an initial investigation of the association between heroin use and anxiety sensitivity (AS). Within a sample of 172 inner-city treatment seeking drug users, AS was compared across past year (1) heroin users with no crack/cocaine use (n=12); (2) crack/cocaine users with no heroin use (n=66); (3) users of both heroin and crack/cocaine (n=45); and (4) individuals with no use of heroin or crack/cocaine (n=49). Consistent with expectations, primary heroin users evidenced higher levels of AS than all other groups, with these differences also evidenced for the physical and social subscales. Differences in AS total score and physical subscale score persisted after controlling for demographic variables, depressive symptoms, and primary use of drugs other than heroin and crack/cocaine including alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, and hallucinogens. Findings suggest a unique relationship between AS and heroin, and set the stage for future work explicating the direction of the observed association.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Behavior Research and Therapy, v. 44, issue 5, p. 667-677