Substance use, gambling, binge‐eating, and hypersexuality symptoms among patients receiving opioid agonist therapies

Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

American Journal on Addictions


Background and Objectives: Patients receiving opioid agonist therapies have high rates of psychiatric comorbidity. Some data suggest that comorbidity is associated with poorer treatment outcomes. The current study assessed predictors of multiple putative addictive behaviors among patients receiving opioid agonist therapies. Methods: Adults (N = 176) recruited from an outpatient clinic providing opioid agonist therapy completed self-report measures of depression, anxiety, impulsivity, adverse childhood events, and the Recognizing Addictive Disorders (RAD) scale, which includes seven subscales assessing symptoms related to alcohol use, drug use, tobacco use, gambling, binge-eating, hypersexual behavior, and excessive video-gaming. Linear regression and hurdle models identified significant predictors of RAD subscales. Hurdle models included logistic regression estimation for the presence/absence of symptoms and negative binomial regression for estimation of the severity of symptoms. Results: Most patients did not report significant symptoms beyond drug or tobacco use. However, 7% to 47% of participants reported some symptoms of other addictive behaviors (subscale score > 0). Higher impulsivity predicted the presence and/or increased severity of symptoms of drug use, gambling, binge-eating, and hypersexuality. Higher depression significantly predicted increased severity of drug use and binge-eating symptoms. Increased anxiety predicted lower severity of alcohol use and binge-eating and higher severity of smoking symptoms. Conclusion and Scientific Significance: A broader range of potentially addictive symptoms may be present among patients engaged in treatment for opioid use disorder. Few studies have assessed symptoms of binge-eating, hypersexuality, and excessive video-gaming among patients receiving opioid agonist therapy. This study contributes to preliminary findings and highlights important future directions. (Am J Addict 2021;00:00–00).


K. K. Saules and A. Staples are faculty members in EMU's Department of Psychology.

Link to Published Version