People convicted of drunk driving may often need help not only for their alcohol
problems but for illicit-drug abuse and other psychiatric disorders as well, a new
Psychiatrist Sandra C. Latham of the Behavioral Health Research Center of the
Southwest in Albuquerque and her coworkers interviewed 612 women and 493 men, ages
23 to 54, about 5 years after their drunk-driving convictions. About 90 percent of
the participants reported having abused alcohol at some time in their lives,
Latham's team reports in the October Archives of General Psychiatry. About one-third of both the men and women also cited past bouts of illicit-drug dependence. For those who had abused alcohol, half the women and one-third of the men had suffered other mental ailments, mainly post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression.