Sexual Abuse and Future Mental Health Hospitalization in a Swedish National Sample of Men Who Use Opioids

Marcus Blom Nilsson, Mojgan Padyab, Dennis Mccarty, Lena Lundgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Experiences of trauma, specifically sexual abuse, have been linked to both mental health and substance use disorders. This study used 14 years of Swedish health registry data to select a sample of adult men who reported frequent opioid use and assessed if those with a self-reported history of sexual abuse had a higher likelihood of hospitalization for a mental health disorder. Methods: A Swedish longitudinal (2003-2017) registry study linked Addiction Severity Index (ASI) assessments completed with individuals who sought treatment for substance use disorders with data on hospitalizations for mental health disorders, and assessed associations with self-reported histories of sexual abuse among men who reported sustained and frequent use of opioids (n = 1862). Cox regression methods tested associations and controlled for age, and the 7 ASI composite scores: family and social relationships, employment, alcohol use, drug use, legal, physical health, and mental health. Results: The ASI composite score for mental health (hazard ratio [HR] 16.6, P < 0.001) and a history of sexual abuse (HR 1.93, P < 0.001) were associated with an elevated risk of future mental health hospitalization. Conclusion: Both the ASI composite scores for mental health and self-reported history of sexual abuse reflected complex needs among men who used opioids and increased risk for mental health hospitalization. Treatment providers should strive to provide integrated care and address the negative aspects of victimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E24-E28
JournalJournal of addiction medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • men
  • mental health
  • opioids
  • sexual abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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