The current study explored anxiety sensitivity as a factor accounting for the association between anxious arousal and problems related to use of cannabis and alcohol among a health disparity sample (low income minorities). Specifically, participants were 130 low-income racial/ethnic minorities who reported daily cannabis use (Mage=37.7 SD=10.0; 28.5% female). There were significant indirect associations of anxious arousal via anxiety sensitivity in relation to: cannabis use problems, cannabis withdrawal symptoms, use of cannabis to cope, as well as hazardous drinking, alcohol use problems, and alcohol consumption. These data indicate anxiety sensitivity is a possible mechanism underlying the relation between anxious arousal and substance use problems among low-income racial/ethnic minorities. Future work could evaluate the efficacy of cannabis and alcohol use treatments incorporating anxiety sensitivity reduction techniques to facilitate amelioration of anxiety and substance use and offset mental health inequalities for this population.

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