• emergency department;
  • alcohol and illicit drug use;
  • violence-related injury;
  • gender differences


Introduction and Aims

The positive relationship between alcohol use, gender and violence-related injury is well established. However, less is known about injuries when alcohol is used in combination with other drugs.

Design and Methods

Self-report information was collected on alcohol and illicit drug use in the 6 h before a violence-related injury in probability samples of patients presenting to emergency departments (n = 9686).


Patients with violence-related injuries reported the highest rates of alcohol use (49% of men; 23% of women) and alcohol use combined with illicit drugs (8% of men; 4% of women) whereas non-violent injury patients reported lower rates of alcohol use (17% of men; 8% of women) and alcohol use combined with drugs (2% for men; 1% for women). Marijuana/hashish was the most commonly reported drug. The odds of a violent injury were increased when alcohol was used [men: odds ratio (OR) = 5.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 4.6–6.3; women: OR = 4.0, 95% CI 3.0–5.5] or when alcohol was combined with illicit drug use before the injury (men: OR = 6.6, 95% CI 4.7–9.3; women: OR = 5.7, 95% CI = 2.7–12.2) compared with non-users. No significant change in the odds of a violent injury was observed for men or women when alcohol users were compared with alcohol and drug users.

Discussion and Conclusions

The positive association between alcohol and violent injury does not appear to be altered by the added use of drugs. Additional work is needed to understand the interpersonal, contextual and cultural factors related to substance use to identify best prevention practices and develop appropriate policies. [Korcha RA, Cherpitel CJ, Witbrodt J, Borges G, Hejazi-Bazargan S, Bond JC, Ye Y, Gmel G. Violence-related injury and gender: The role of alcohol and alcohol combined with illicit drugs. Drug Alcohol Rev 2014;33:43–50]