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Journal Article


Helle AC, Wycoff AM, Griffin SA, Fleming M, Freeman LK, Vebares TJ, Rodriguez EM, Zapata MF, Trull TJ. Personal. Disord. 2021; ePub(ePub): ePub.


(Copyright © 2021, American Psychological Association)






Co-use of alcohol and medication can have serious negative health effects (e.g., overdose risk, liver damage). Research has primarily focused on older adults or the pharmacokinetics of specific medication-alcohol combinations. Little work has focused on the subjective experience of persons who take alcohol-interactive (AI) medications and also drink alcohol, particularly in psychiatric samples at high risk for problematic alcohol use and high rates of prescription medication use, such as individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Data from a larger ecological momentary assessment study of alcohol use in 52 persons diagnosed with BPD (83% women; Mage = 26 years) were used to examine the influence of alcohol intoxication (i.e., estimated blood alcohol concentration [eBAC]) and medication co-use on momentary subjective experience while drinking. Participants reported AI medication use at baseline and completed multiple ecological momentary assessment reports per day over 21 days, which included reports of alcohol use, subjective effects of alcohol (e.g., pleasure, feeling worse), and negative and positive affect. AI medications significantly moderated the association between eBAC and pleasurable effects of alcohol, such that at higher levels of eBAC, those taking AI medications experienced blunted subjective pleasure compared with those not taking AI medications. AI medications did not moderate the associations between eBAC and subjective relief, feeling worse, positive affect, or negative affect. Attenuated pleasure during drinking could lead to increased drinking in an attempt to achieve a desirable state among individuals who co-use psychiatric medications and alcohol, and therefore may represent a useful target for prevention and intervention. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

Language: en


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