Brief Report: Expectancies for alcohol analgesia are associated with greater alcohol use among moderate-to-heavy drinkers without chronic pain

Lisa R. LaRowe, Jessica M. Powers, Stephen A. Maisto, Michael J. Zvolensky, Stephen J. Glatt, Joseph W. Ditre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Expectancies for alcohol analgesia (i.e., expectations that drinking alcohol will reduce pain) have been associated with greater alcohol consumption among individuals with chronic pain, and there is reason to believe that such expectancies may also contribute to drinking behavior among alcohol users without a current chronic pain condition. Therefore, the objective of these analyses was to test associations between a measure of expectancies for alcohol analgesia (EAA) and alcohol use among drinkers without current pain. Method: These are secondary analyses of baseline data collected from 200 moderate-to-heavy adult drinkers (39% women). Results: EAA scores were positively associated with quantity/frequency of drinking, urge to drink, and other alcohol outcome expectancies (ps <.01). Discussion and Conclusions: Expectancies that alcohol will reduce pain are associated with heavier drinking among drinkers without pain. Over time, such expectancies may contribute to the development of alcohol use disorder and chronically painful conditions. Scientific Significance: This study provides the first evidence that even moderate-to-heavy drinkers without chronic pain may still hold expectancies for alcohol analgesia, and that this may be related to greater quantity/frequency of drinking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-84
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal on Addictions
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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