Author: Livingston, Emily
Despite the prevalence of polysubstance use among homeless and precariously housed persons, the cognitive and functional consequences of substance use patterns are poorly understood. This may be due in part to the limitations of existing work that attempts to isolate substances (e.g. methodologically or statistically) or lacks granularity (e.g. cross-sectional or lacking frequency of use). As such, this study aimed to improve upon past work by evaluating naturally occurring patterns of polysubstance use longitudinally. Using cluster analysis, this study revealed three validated substance use profiles: Frequent Heroin with Moderate Methamphetamine Use, Frequent Cannabis Use, and Infrequent to Moderate Polysubstance Use. Mixed general linear models indicated that the use profiles were not associated with differences in cognitive trajectory or capacity, however, persons engaged in frequent use showed poorer social and occupational functioning compared to a moderate use group. Implications are discussed.
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Thesis advisor: Thornton, Allen
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