Drug use over time among never-deployed US Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers: The longitudinal effects of non-deployment emotions and sex

Rachel A. Hoopsick, D. Lynn Homish, Schuyler C. Lawson, Gregory G. Homish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Some US military service members who have never been deployed experience negative emotions related to never having been deployed, and some work shows these non-deployment emotions (NDE) are cross-sectionally associated with hazardous drinking for male, but not female, US Army Reserve/National Guard (USAR/NG) soldiers. However, it is not known if these effects extend to drug use or persist longitudinally, which is the focus of the current study. We conducted a longitudinal residual change analysis of a subset of data (N = 182 never-deployed soldiers) from Operation: SAFETY, an ongoing survey-based study of USAR/NG soldiers recruited from units across New York State. Outcome measures included current tobacco use, non-medical use of prescription drugs (NMUPD), current cannabis use, and other current illicit drug use (excluding cannabis) at four time points over a 3-year period. Results from bootstrapped residual change generalized estimating equation (GEE) models show that more negative NDE were longitudinally associated with a greater likelihood of current NMUPD among male, but not female, soldiers (p < 0.05). NDE were not longitudinally associated with current tobacco use, cannabis use, or other illicit drug use among male or female soldiers (ps > 0.05). NDE may contribute to ongoing NMUPD among male USAR/NG soldiers who have never been deployed. Never-deployed soldiers, especially those with negative emotions related to never having been deployed, should not be overlooked in military screening and intervention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalStress and Health
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - May 2 2022

Keywords

  • illicit drug use
  • military
  • non-deployment emotions
  • non-medical use of prescription drugs
  • reserve soldiers
  • tobacco use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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