Lifestyle differences between young adult cocaine users and their nonuser peers

F. G. Castro, M. D. Newcomb, K. Cadish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Health-related behaviors were examined in a group of twenty-five young adults who regularly used cocaine and in a matched sample of twenty-five nonusing young adults. We hypothesized that cocaine users would have a less healthy lifestyle as indicated by behavioral scales or items on three health domains: Nonillicit Drugs, Health Orientation, and Health Behaviors. Cocaine users consumed more cups of coffee per day, more alcoholic beverages per week, and ate fewer complete/balanced meals per day than non-users. Cocaine users also reported fewer relaxing or stress-reducing activities and less daily planning and organization. A within-groups analysis of the cocaine users revealed that the heavier users perceived themselves as less healthy relative to their peers and ate fewer complete/balanced meals. These results suggest that cocaine use is a behavior embedded within a complex of interrelated unhealthy behaviors that constitute an unhealthy lifestyle. By implication, cocaine use is associated with a greater lifestyle imbalance involving polydrug use at the expense of nutrition and effective self-management. These results suggest that clinical interventions for prevention and treatment of cocaine use should promote specific healthy lifestyle changes in addition to the current practice of promoting a cessation of drug use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-111
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of drug education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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