BACKGROUND: The additive effect of parental alcohol use disorders (AUD) is conventionally defined as an increasing risk of the offspring developing AUD relative to family history negative, < family history positive with 1 parent (FHP1), < FHP2. The few studies on the additive effect of parental AUD have focused on the risk of development of offspring AUD and not on the degree of multidimensional AUD addiction severity.
AIMS: The aims of the present study were to examine the frequency of treatment-seeking outpatients exposed to FHP1 and FHP2 and whether addiction severity was impacted by the additive effect of parental AUD among AUD female and male offspring.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study was based on 3,361 consecutive treatment-seeking outpatients from 2006 to 2016, assessed by means of the -European Addiction Severity Index (EUROP-ASI). The -EUROP-ASI assessed multidimensional addiction severity, comprising alcohol and other drug use, somatic and psychiatric health status, family and other social status, economy and employment-related problems and criminal status composite scores at treatment entry.
RESULTS: Among females, 40.38% had FHP1 and 15.68% FHP2, whereas males had 40.90% FHP1 and 13.24% FHP2. No conventional additive effect was found on the composite scores among both genders. However, another type of synergistic additive effect, only manifesting with exposure to FHP2, was found for employment-related problems and psychiatric status composite scores among male offspring.
CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to parental AUD is strikingly high among treatment-seeking outpatients. Nonetheless, the additive effect has a modest impact on multidimensional addiction severity and is mostly related to psycho-social impairment among treatment-seeking male offspring.