Dual diagnosis and chronology of illness in treatment-seeking Italian patients dependent on heroin.

University of Pisa, Via Roma 67, 56100-PISA, Italy.
Journal of Addictive Diseases (Impact Factor: 1.46). 04/2011; 30(2):123-35. DOI: 10.1080/10550887.2011.554779
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although there are studies describing the prevalence of patients with drug addiction and dual diagnosis, there is a paucity of data regarding the progression from psychiatric disorders to drug addiction or vice versa. A total of 1,090 patients dependent on heroin were interviewed to examine the presence of dual diagnosis and the progression from psychiatric disorders to drug dependence or vice versa. A total of 574 patients met the criteria for a dual diagnosis. A total of 362 patients progressed from substance abuse disorders to psychiatric disorders (SUD-PR) and 144 patients progressed from psychiatric disorders to drug addiction (PSY-PR). SUD-PR patients are more frequently affected by mood disorders. PSY-PR patients were more frequently diagnosed as psychotic or affected by anxiety disorders. The authors' findings suggest that the self-medication theory of dual diagnosis was relevant only for those with existing diagnoses of schizophrenia or anxiety disorders. When treating patients with a dual diagnosis, clinicians should ensure that the same attention is given to the treatment of drug dependence as it is to the treatment of comorbid psychiatric conditions.



Available from
May 20, 2014