• Journal Article

Adolescents' multisubstance use patterns: the role of heavy alcohol and cigarette use

Citation

Bailey, S. (1992). Adolescents' multisubstance use patterns: the role of heavy alcohol and cigarette use. American Journal of Public Health, 82(9), 1220-1224.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES. Knowledge about the roles that heavy alcohol and cigarette use play in patterns of concurrent substance use among adolescents is lacking despite studies showing that adolescent substance users are typically multisubstance users and that alcohol and cigarettes are commonly used heavily by those who use illicit substances. METHODS. The roles of increasing use and heavy first-time use of alcohol and cigarettes in multisubstance use patterns were examined in a cohort of 4192 secondary students who were surveyed three times over a 4-year period. RESULTS. When subsequent use patterns were compared for students who increased their levels of alcohol or cigarette use and those who initiated use for the first time but at heavy frequencies, analyses indicated that the former group was more likely to initiate the subsequent use of other substances and to maintain and increase use already initiated. CONCLUSIONS. These results suggest that adolescents are likely to have been involved in a history of licit substance use characterized by increasing levels of use before progressing to and maintaining the use of other substances. Increasing frequencies of alcohol and cigarette use, therefore, may be markers for more serious patterns of substance use