At the population level, use of multiple substances (or “co-use”) is prevalent in young adulthood and linked with increased risk for experiencing substance-related harms. Less understood is the heterogeneity of substance use behaviors within individuals and across days, as well as the proximal predictors of these daily use patterns. The present study applied latent class analysis to daily diary data to identify daily substance use patterns and compare day-level class membership based on day-level stress and positive and negative affect among a higher-risk sample of young adult substance users. Participants (n = 152) completed up to 13 daily assessments of stress, affect, and substance use behavior. Among substance use days, five classes of days were identified: cannabis (some alcohol; 43% of days), alcohol-only (26%), vaping (some alcohol, cannabis; 24%), stimulant + alcohol (some cannabis, vaping; 4%), and cigarette-only (3%) days. Days with lower levels of perceived stress were significantly more likely to be alcohol-only Days relative to being days characterized by cigarette use, cannabis use, or multiple drug combinations. Days with higher levels of stress and negative affect were more likely to be cigarette-only days relative to cannabis and vaping days. Study findings document the wide range of substance use and co-use behaviors exhibited among young adults in daily life and highlight the importance of considering risk factors that correspond to days of problematic use patterns.
© 2021. Society for Prevention Research.