Codes and Frequencies
For sample adults age 18+ who (1) felt sad, blue, or depressed (DEP2WKEV), (2) for all day long, most of the day, or about half of the day (DEPDAYAMT), (3) for every day or almost every day (DEPHOWOFT), for 2+ weeks during the past 12 months, DEPDRUGALC reports responses to the question, "Did you take medication or use drugs or alcohol more than once for these problems?"
Related Variables for Screening Major Depression
DEPDRUGALC was part of a series of mental health questions constituting the NHIS version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview - Short Form (CIDI-SF) screening scale for major depression. More specifically, DEPDRUGALC was part of a group of questions on major depression with dysphoric mood (feeling sad, blue, or depressed).
According to the Field Representative's Manual for 1999, this set of questions was included "to determine if the Sample Adult has been or still is depressed in the past 12 months and, if so, how it affected them physically and emotionally, how long it has affected them, how they dealt with these problems, and how much these problems interfered with their life or activities."
After passing three screening questions (DEP2WKEV, DEPDAYAMT, DEPHOWOFT), respondents received an additional series of questions addressing symptoms of depression related to dysphoric mood. DEPDRUGALC is part of a series of supplemental questions asked of respondents who experienced at least one symptom of depression with dysphoric mood. To be asked the question associated with DEPDRUGALC, respondents had to report experiencing at least one specific symptoms of depression.
These symptoms include:
- Lost interest in most things ("Yes" in DEPLI)
- Felt more lethargic than usual ("Yes" in DEPLETH)
- Weight changed 10+ pounds ("Gain," "Lose," or "Volunteered 'both gained and lost weight'" in DEPWT and "10+" in DEPWTAMT or "Yes" in DEPWT10)
- Had trouble sleeping every night or nearly every night ("Yes" in DEPINSOM and "Every night" or "Nearly every night" in DEPINSOMOFT)
- Had trouble concentrating ("Yes" in DEPCONCEN)
- Felt worthless or no good ("Yes" in DEPNOGOOD)
- Thought about death ("Yes" in DEPSUICID)
The reference period for these symptoms was the two-week period during the past 12 months when the feelings of being sad, blue, or depressed were the worst.
Respondents who reported experiencing one or more symptoms of depression were asked the series of supplemental questions that included DEPDRUGALC (Used medication/drugs/alcohol to cope with feeling sad/blue/depressed).
Before reading the first supplemental question, the interviewer stated, "To review, you had two weeks in a row during the past 12 months when you were sad, blue, or depressed and also had some other feelings or problems like:" and read up to three of the symptoms the respondent reported experiencing.
In addition to DEPDRUGALC, supplemental questions were asked about the following:
- Total number of weeks felt sad/blue/depressed during past 12 months (DEPWKNO)
- Most recent month felt sad/blue/depressed 2+ weeks (DEPWHENMO)
- Most recent year, 1998-2000, felt sad/blue/depressed 2+ weeks (DEPWHENYR)
- Told doctor about feeling sad/blue/depressed 2+ weeks during the past 12 months (DEPTOLDDR)
- Told health professional about feeling sad/blue/depressed 2+ weeks during the past 12 months (DEPTOLDHP)
- Amount feeling sad/blue/depressed 2+ weeks during the past 12 months interfered with life (DEPINTFERE)
Although a part of the NHIS CIDI-SF screening scale for major depression, DEPDRUGALC and the other supplemental questions are not used in calculating major depression scores, but rather provide information about how long respondents have been affected and the impact of symptoms on their lives.
In contrast, answers to the symptom questions can be used to calculate the probability of psychiatric caseness for major depression with dysphoric mood. For more information on the other CIDI-SF variables and for instructions on how to calculate scores for major depression with dysphoric mood, see DEP2WKEV.
This variable only occurs in 1999.
In 1999, a similar question, "Did you take medication or use drugs or alcohol more than once for these problems?" (DEPLIDRUGALC), was asked of sample adults age 18+ who passed the screening questions for major depression with anhedonia (loss of interest in pleasurable activities) (DEPLIFUN, DEPLIDAYAMT, DEPLIHOWOFT) and who reported experiencing at least one symptom of major depression with anhedonia. Only respondents who were skipped out of the survey section related to dysphoric mood (and who thus did not answer the question associated with DEPDRUGALC) received the question associated with DEPLIDRUGALC.
- 1999: Sample adults age 18+ who felt sad/blue/depressed at least half the day for at least almost every day for 2+ weeks during the past 12 months and experienced 1+ symptoms of major depression.
- 1999 : SAMPWEIGHT