Panic attacks, panic disorder, and agoraphobia: Associations with substance use, abuse, and dependence

Michael J. Zvolensky, Amit Bernstein, Erin C. Marshall, Matthew T. Feldner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Anxiety and substance use disorders frequently co-occur. Despite the clinical importance of this co-occurrence, theory and research addressing the relations between anxiety-substance use disorder comorbidity remain limited. The present commentary is intended to briefly review and summarize key aspects of this literature, with a specific focus on panic-spectrum psychopathology (panic attacks, panic disorder, and agoraphobia) and its associations with tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use, abuse, and dependence. A heuristic theoretical model for better understanding the panic-substance use relations also is offered. Extant data suggest clinically meaningful bidirectional associations are evident between panic problems and premorbid risk factors for such problems and various forms of tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use. Key clinical implications and future directions are outlined based upon the review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-285
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Psychiatry Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper was supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse research grants (1 R01 DA018734-01A1, R03 DA16307-01, and 1 R21 DA016227-01) awarded to Dr. Zvolensky and by a National Research Service Award (F31 MH073205-01) awarded to Dr. Bernstein.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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