NEW YORK, Mar 22, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- New York City residents drank more alcohol and smoked more cigarettes and marijuana six months after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks than they did before.
According to research by the New York Academy of Medicine, one month after the attacks, 30 percent of residents interviewed in a phone survey said they had increased their use of cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana since Sept. 11. That percentage fell slightly, to 27 percent, six months after the attacks.
Higher rates of substance use persisted even after symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome decreased among the city dwellers, the researchers said.
People who smoked or drank to cope with the stress may have fallen prey to the addictive potential of these substances, "which may have lingering effects well beyond the event exposure and the initial psychological response to the event itself," they said.
The researchers randomly surveyed 988 Manhattan residents one month after Sept. 11, 2001, and 854 residents six months later, asking them about their drinking and smoking habits immediately before and after the attacks.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.