Background. This study examined the relationship between depressive symptoms and polydrug use (alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine) among blacks in a high-risk community. Methods. A street sample (N = 570) from four high-risk communities in Birmingham, Alabama, was collected through personal interviews. Interviewers asked respondents about their drug use behavior during the past 30 days, as well as about their depressive symptoms during the past week. Results. Odds ratios and logistic regressions, adjusted for age and sex, were used to assess the relationship between depressive symptoms and drug and polydrug use (drug use involving cocaine). Results showed that depressive symptoms are significantly associated with polydrug use. However, depressive symptoms were not associated with alcohol use or with the combination of alcohol and marijuana use. Conclusions. Depressive symptoms are related to polydrug use involving cocaine, though the causal relationship is uncertain. Previous reports on depressive symptoms and alcohol or marijuana may be inconclusive.
ASJC Scopus subject areas