Context We compared the prevalence of alcohol use and other psychiatric disorders in offenders 15 years after a first conviction for driving while impaired with a general population sample.
Objective To determine whether high rates of addictive and other psychiatric disorders previously demonstrated in this sample remain disproportionately higher compared with a matched general population sample.
Design Point-in-time cohort study.
Setting Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Participants We interviewed convicted first offenders using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview 15 years after referral to a screening program in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. We calculated rates of diagnoses for non-Hispanic white and Hispanic women (n = 362) and men (n = 220) adjusting for missing data using multiple imputation and compared psychiatric diagnoses with findings from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication by sex and Hispanic ethnicity.
Results Eleven percent of non-Hispanic white women and 12.8% of Hispanic women in the driving while impaired sample reported 12-month alcohol abuse or dependence, compared with 1.0% and 1.8%, respectively, in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (comparison) sample. Almost 12% of non-Hispanic white men and 17.5% of Hispanic men in the driving while impaired sample reported 12-month alcohol abuse or dependence, compared with to 2.0% and 1.8%, respectively, in the comparison sample. These differences were statistically significant. Rates of drug use disorders and nicotine dependence were also elevated compared with the general population sample, while rates of major depressive disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder were similar.
Conclusion In this sample, high rates of addictive disorders persisted over 10 years among first offenders and greatly exceeded those found in a general population sample.