Objectives: We aimed to evaluate the incidence, predisposing factors and impacts of polysubstance use (PSU) (ie, the concurrent use or abuse of two or more drugs or substances) in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Methods: Data of patients enrolled between 1 January 2015 and 31 August 2019 from a single tertiary care referral center were retrospectively collected. Patients’ baseline and clinical characteristics and their antidepressant and/or anxiolytic medications were abstracted. Associations between PSU and patients’ characteristics were analyzed. Multivariate logistic regression models were fit, incorporating significant clinical factors. Results: Altogether 315 patients with IBD (166 women, 149 men; 214 with Crohn's disease and 101 ulcerative colitis) were enrolled. Of them, 66 (21.0%) exhibited PSU (CD 21.5%, UC 19.8%); 37.5% had moderate to severe disease activity, 34.3% with extraintestinal manifestations (EIM), 41.6% with an anxious or depressed state and 69.8% had used healthcare resources in the prior 12 months. Moreover, 71.2% used two substances, while 27.3% used three substances. In the total cohort, EIM (odds ratio [OR] 1.97, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.14-3.34, P = 0.019) and antidepressant or anxiolytic use (OR 2.51, 95% CI 1.45-4.39, P < 0.001) were positively associated with PSU on multivariate analysis. PSU was associated with increased rate of IBD-associated imaging (57.6% vs 47.0%, P < 0.05). Conclusions: PSU is common in IBD. EIM, antidepressant and/or anxiolytic use and imaging studies were independently associated with PSU. This study reinforces the importance of screening patients with IBD for substance use, particularly those with EIM and using antidepressants and/or anxiolytics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)706-713
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Digestive Diseases
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gastroenterology


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