The relationship of solvent use to other substance use

Stephen H. Dinwiddie*, Theodore Reich, C. Robert Cloninger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


One hundred thirty solvent abusers were retrospectively identified from a family study containing 286 alcoholics, 157 felons, 60 control subjects, and 1,640 of their relatives. Comprehensive data regarding psychiatric diagnosis and drug use were gathered using the Home Environment Lifetime Psychiatric Record. Solvent abuse was very strongly associated with having a diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder and was consistently associated with polysubstance abuse. Solvent abusers were more likely to be male, of lower socioeconomic status, and younger than those without a reported history of solvent abuse. Contrary to current understanding, solvent use did not clearly precede other substance use; rather, alcohol and cannabis use tended to occur first, followed by use of solvents. Solvent users were 5 to 10 times more likely than nonusers to report abuse of opioids, stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-186
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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