Mortality reports show that most overdose deaths include more than one substance. In addition, there is a gap in the literature that discusses risk factors for polysubstance use. The objective of this study was to explore what factors relate to the likelihood of engaging in polysubstance use, defined as using more than one substance. Specifically, the goal was to evaluate predictors of simultaneous (i.e., the use of alcohol and another substance at the same time in the past six months) polysubstance use and concurrent (i.e., the use of any two substances in the past six months) polysubstance use, vs. no substance use and single substance use combined. Data were obtained from the 2021 CARA Orange County Residents Survey conducted by the Orange County Drug Free Office. Seven hundred thirty-five participants aged 18 years and older were asked about their drug use, risk perceptions of polysubstance use, sensation seeking, ACE scoring, and protective measures used while using drugs and alcohol. SPSS was used to conduct bivariate and logistic regression analysis to predict simultaneous and concurrent polysubstance use from demographic factors, sensation seeking, ACE scores, number of sexual partners, and incapacitated sexual assault. Bivariate and logistic regression analysis demonstrate that neither simultaneous nor concurrent polysubstance use were associated with most demographic factors. Number of sexual partners was positively associated with both simultaneous and concurrent polysubstance use; however, incapacitated sexual assault was not related to either type of polysubstance use. High sensation-seeking and high ACE scores were significantly associated with simultaneous and concurrent use. This research supported the hypothesis that higher sensation seeking and ACE scores were associated with a greater likelihood of engaging in both concurrent and simultaneous polysubstance use. Future research is needed to further explore the frequency and problems associated with polysubstance use. This study sets the groundwork to analyze psychosocial risk factors for polysubstance use.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Lightfoot, Laura, "Deadly Combinations: Factors that are Associated with Simultaneous and Concurrent Polysubstance Use" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1041.