The Transition of Sociodemographic and Substance Abuse Characteristics, Pairwise Co-occurrences and Factors Associated with Polysubstance Use Among US Adolescents and Young Adults

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH, USA

2 Division of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Department of Environmental and Public Health Sciences, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, USA

3 Department of Statistics, Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh

4 Office of Research, LSU Health Sciences Center-Shreveport, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA

5 Department of Statistics, Comilla University, Comilla, Bangladesh

6 Department of Medicine, LSU Health Sciences Center-Shreveport, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA



Background: Substance abuse by adolescents and young adults is a major public health issue. This study aimed to (i) show 
the transition of sociodemographic and substance abuse characteristics from 1992 to 2017 among US adolescents and young 
adults, (ii) evaluate the likelihood of co-occurrence of substances, and (iii) identify significant sociodemographic characteristics 
in association with polysubstance abuse. 
Methods: This study extracted data for adolescents and young adults from 1992 and 2017 Treatment Episode Data Set-Admission 
(TEDS-A) datasets. The extracted sample included 337858 admissions in 1992 and 333322 in 2017.
Findings: Both years experienced significant admissions. A significant transition in 2017 compared to 1992 was evident in 
education, living status, and ethnicity. Substance-specific transition showed alcohol was dominant in 1992, while marijuana/
hashish was dominant in 2017. Also, heroin, other opiates/synthetics, and methamphetamine experienced an increase, while 
cocaine/crack decreased. The pairwise co-occurrences exhibited a considerable variation in the likelihood of using one 
substance given another one. The odds ratios (ORs) obtained from generalized ordered logit models showed significantly higher 
odds of one or more substances with age, while education showed the opposite scenario. A mixed effect of gender was evident 
in 1992, whereas females were significantly less likely with one or more substances than males in 2017. Other significant 
vulnerable groups were those not in the labor force, homeless, white, and Mexican Americans. 
Conclusion: The findings may help to understand the overall changes between 1992 and 2017 and take necessary measures to 
reduce the burden of this public health problem.


Md Tareq Ferdous Khan: (Google Scholar) (PubMed)

Shrabanti Mazumder: (Google Scholar) (PubMed)

Md Habibur Rahman: (Google Scholar) (PubMed)

Most Alina Afroz: (Google Scholar) (PubMed)

Humayun Kiser: (Google Scholar) (PubMed)

Mohammad Alfrad Nobel Bhuiyan: (Google Scholar) (PubMed)


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