Alcohol use disorders and drinking among survivors of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City

Carol S North, Bryon H Adinoff, David E. Pollio, Sagar Kinge, Dana L. Downs, Betty Pfefferbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Research on the relationship of alcohol and disasters has yielded mixed conclusions. Some studies investigate alcohol consumption but others examine alcohol use disorders in relation to disaster. Alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders have not be studied concurrently in relation to specific disaster trauma exposures. A volunteer sample of 379 individuals from New York City agencies affected by the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks on World Trade Center were assessed approximately 3 years postdisaster for alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders relative to specific disaster exposures. Increases in alcohol consumption were relatively small, eventually returning to pre-9/11 levels, with few cases of new alcohol use disorders or alcohol relapse. The findings suggest that postdisaster alcohol use has negligible clinical relevance for most of the population. Scarce disaster resources should be focused on those at identified risk of excessive alcohol use, that is, those with pre-existing alcohol or other psychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)962-969
Number of pages8
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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