Article Type

Original Study


Objectives To study the comorbid psychiatric disorders among substance abusers in Menoufia and to identify whether there is a correlation between the type of substance and the comorbid disorder that occurred, and also to determine whether there are specific risk factors that can cause this comorbidity. Background A dual diagnosis presents a challenging problem to clinicians as substance use disorders occurring together with mental health disorders represent a major health problem. Participants and methods Study participants comprised 120 Egyptian substance abusers. They were subjected to the following: semistructured interview sheet, Fahmy and El Sherbini Social Classification scale, semistructured clinical interview for DSM-IV (SCID) both SCID-I for Axis-I diagnosis and SCID-II for Axis-II diagnosis, Addiction Severity Index scale, and a urine screening for substance abuse. Results The findings of the study suggested that 20% of the studied participants were tramadol abusers, 10% were both alcohol and cannabis abusers, 23% were other substances abusers, and 37% were polysubstance abusers. With respect to psychiatric comorbidity, 63.3% of the participants had comorbid psychiatric disorders and comorbid personality disorders (PDs). On studying risk factors for substance abuse, major depressive disorder was found to be the strongest predictor of alcohol abuse. Dependent PD and schizophrenia were the strongest predictors of cannabis abuse. Major depressive disorder and borderline PD were the strongest predictors of opioid abuse. Anxiety disorders and borderline PD were the strongest predictors of sedative abuse. On studying risk factors for comorbid psychiatric disorders in the participants studied, young age (<25 years) and being single were found to be the strongest predictors of comorbid Axis-I disorders. Conclusion Individuals with psychiatric disorders are at an increased risk of having a comorbid substance abuse disorder and vice versa.