Evidence for a hallucinogen dependence syndrome developing soon after onset of hallucinogen use during adolescence

A. L. Stone, C. L. Storr, James C. Anthony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study uses latent class methods and multiple regression to shed light on hypothesized hallucinogen dependence syndromes experienced by young people who have recently initiated hallucinogen use. It explores possible variation in risk. The study sample, identified within public-use data files of the 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA), consists of 1186 recent-onset hallucinogen users, defined as having initiated hallucinogen use within 24 months of assessment (median elapsed time since onset of use ∼12 to 13 months). The recent-onset users in this sample were age 12 to 21 at the time of assessment and were between the ages of 10 and 21 at the time of their first hallucinogen use. The NHSDA included items to assess seven clinical features often associated with hallucinogen dependence, which were used in latent class modelling. Latent class analysis, in conjunction with prior theory, supports a three-class solution, with 2% of recent-onset users in a class that resembles a hallucinogen dependence syndrome, whereas 88% expressed few or no clinical features of dependence. The remaining 10% may reflect users who are at risk for dependence or in an early stage of dependence. Results from latent class regressions indicate that susceptibility to rapid transition from first hallucinogen use to onset of this hallucinogen dependence syndrome might be influenced by hallucinogenic compounds taken (for example, estimated relative risk, RR = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.6, 7.6 for users of MDMA versus users of LSD). Excess risk of rapid transition did not appear to depend upon age, sex, or race/ethnicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-130
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Dependence
  • Epidemiology
  • Hallucinogen
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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