Tobacco and alcohol use among firefighters during their first 3 years of service.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Firefighters constitute an understudied occupational group that are exposed to a great deal of occupational stress including potentially traumatic stress. As such, higher prevalence rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders have been observed within this population; however, very little is known about the trajectories of health-risk behaviors among firefighters in response to occupational stress over time. The present study enrolled 322 fire service recruits from 7 urban U.S. professional fire departments and followed them through the first 3 years of service. All enrollees were free of Axis I psychopathology at the time of baseline assessments, which were conducted while participants were still enrolled in the fire academy. We hypothesized that: (a) firefighters who used tobacco would have higher levels of alcohol use over time; and (b) firefighters with higher levels of traumatic exposure and mental health symptoms would evidence a stronger multisubstance risk pattern. Analyses provided support for our first hypothesis and revealed that depressive symptoms (but neither trauma exposure nor PTSD symptoms) moderated the alcohol-tobacco relationship. The clinical and public safety implications of these results are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gulliver, SB; Zimering, R; Knight, J; Morissette, S; Kamholz, B; Meyer, E; Keane, T; Pennington, M; Denman, T; Carpenter, T; Kimbrel, N

Published Date

  • May 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 32 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 255 - 263

PubMed ID

  • 29771556

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-1501

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/adb0000366


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States