Changes in the association of drug use with depressive disorders in recent decades: the case of cocaine

The social meaning of cocaine changed during the 1980 s and 1990s. The present study examined changes in the psychological profile of cocaine users. We used Baltimore data of the National Institute of Mental Health-funded Epidemiologic Catchment Area study during 1981 (n = 3,006; 60% female) and 1993-1994 (n = 1,679; 52% female). The diagnostic interview schedule measured cocaine use and depressive disorders (dysthymia, major depressive disorder). The odds ratio of cocaine use for those with depression was 1.28 and 3.53 in 1981 and 1993-1994 respectively. The results suggest a historical period effect in the association of cocaine use and depression. Limitations and implications are discussed.