Psychiatric and Substance Use Comorbidity in Treatment-Seeking Injection Opioid Users Referred From Syringe Exchange [2018]

Objective: The present study evaluated rates of co-occurring current psychiatric and substance use disorders in a sample of opioid-dependent treatment-seeking injection drug users referred from syringe exchange.

Methods: Participants (N = 208) completed the Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) IV-R to assess current (within the past year) psychiatric and substance use disorders and the two most commonly diagnosed personality disorders (antisocial and borderline personality disorders).

Results: Forty-eight percent of the sample had a current Axis I psychiatric disorder, and 67% had a co-occurring current substance use disorder. Posttraumatic stress disorder (21%), major depression (17%), and bipolar I (12%) were the most prevalent Axis I psychiatric disorders, and cocaine use disorder (53%) was the most commonly co-occurring substance use disorder. Women were more likely to have diagnoses of most anxiety disorders and less likely to have diagnoses of alcohol use disorder or antisocial personality disorder. The presence of a personality disorder was associated with higher rates of cocaine and sedative use disorder.

Conclusions: Findings suggest the importance of evaluating and treating co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders in the treatment of injection drug users with opioid dependence.

Michael Kidorf, Stephanie Solazzo, Haijuan Yan & Robert K. Brooner

Journal of Dual Diagnosis: research and practice in substance abuse comorbidity, 17 Oct 2018