Study 07 – An Introduction to the Family Study of Cocaine

Investigator:  Laura Bierut

Release Date:  Available at NIDA

Abstract:  The Family Study of Cocaine Dependence is a 5-year case control study. The study will examine familial and non-familial antecedents and consequences associated with cocaine dependence. This study will allow the identification of social, psychological, and other familial and non-familial factors that are specific to the risk of cocaine dependence, which may lead to improved prevention and treatment efforts.

The specific aims of this study are: (1) To examine familial transmission of cocaine dependance and related psychopathology, (2) To study interrelationships between individual and familial factors that are associated with cocaine use, abuse, and dependence, (3) To specify predisposing factors and outcomes of cocaine use, abuse, and dependence, and their relationship to family factors, and (4) to compare results of this study with data from a large multi-site family study of alcoholism, the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA).

To accomplish these goals, 500 DSM-IV cocaine dependent subjects identified in chemical dependency treatment units (both public and private) in the metropolitan St. Louis area and surrounding counties, will be recruited. 500 community-based subjects will be recruited to provide normative measures. One nearest aged full sibling for each case and control subject will be recruited. A total of 2000 subjects will be studied.

Personal interviews will be performed to determine the rates of cocaine use, abuse, and dependence along with alcohol, nicotine and other substance dependence. In addition, lifetime psychiatric histories will be obtained for major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, conduct disorder, attention deficit, and hyperactivity. Adverse circumstances, including school difficulties, high-risk sexual behaviors, IV drug use, violence, and legal difficulties, will be assessed. Histories of all first-degree relatives will be obtained from all the subjects. This information will permit analyses of individual and familial factors that are involved in the development of cocaine use, abuse, and dependence, and familial patterns of psychopathology related to cocaine dependence.

By surveying groups of high and low risk individuals for the development of cocaine use, abuse, and dependence, the proposed study will generate a unique understanding of the natural history, etiology, and consequences of cocaine dependence in our communities.


Semi-Structured Assessment of Cocaine Abuse (SSACA)

Instrument: Semi-Structured Assessment of Cocaine Dependence