Distress Tolerance Associated With Alcohol Use in Women With Opioid Use Disorder

In women with opioid use disorder, greater distress tolerance may be associated with fewer alcohol use days.

In women with opioid use disorder (OUD), greater distress tolerance may be associated with fewer alcohol use days, according to a study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

The study included 122 participants with prescription OUD. Each participant completed questionnaires regarding demographics, distress tolerance, mental health symptoms, and frequency and quantity of alcohol consumed in the past 30 days. A regression model used the alcohol-related variables as outcomes.

The results indicated that in women, greater distress tolerance was associated with fewer alcohol use days (β=−19.22; P =.011). However, this association was not significant in men (β=−8.67; P =.054). There was no association between gender and distress tolerance and the amount of alcohol consumed.

Male gender, fewer depressive symptoms, and unemployment were associated with more alcohol use days. In addition, men (compared with women) and younger (compared with older) participants consumed greater quantities of alcohol on alcohol use days.

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“This new finding may provide insight into the increase in opioid-related deaths among women due to the increased risk [for] overdose in concurrent alcohol and opioid use,” the researchers wrote. “Targeting distress tolerance among women with prescription OUD may be one method reduce alcohol use among women with prescription OUD.”

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Gilmore AK, Jones JL, Moreland AD, et al. Gender moderates the association between distress tolerance and alcohol use among individuals with opioid use disorder [published online June 21, 2018]. Drug Alcohol Depend. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2018.05.016