Substance misuse and comorbid psychopathology in a high-risk group: A study of siblings of cocaine misusers

Suniya S. Luthar, Bruce J. Rounsaville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Vulnerability to drug misuse and psychopathology was explored among 673 siblings of 298 opioid-addicted probands. Disorders were evaluated based on family history information obtained from the proband. Results indicated that (1) siblings of cocaine misusers showed high vulnerability to developing drug misuse, alcoholism, and antisocial personality disorder; (2) siblings of probands with specific comorbid diagnoses were vulnerable to developing a range of disorders (no specificity of aggregation was found); (3) proband major depression was related to a broad spectrum of sibling disorders; (4) the presence of a major psychiatric disorder was strongly associated with substance misuse among siblings; (5) psychopathology appeared to precede drug misuse in terms of age of onset. These findings corroborate those previously obtained with siblings of opioid addicts, and they are discussed in terms of implications for the classification and treatment of substance misuse

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-434
Number of pages20
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Addiction
  • Cocaine
  • Comorbid disorders
  • Familial aggregation
  • Family studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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