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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2001 December;42(4):239-44

language: Italian

Alcohol and other drug abuse in patients with mood and anxiety disorders

Maina G., Ceregato A., Picco C., Saracco P., Bogetto F.


Introduction. Compared with dependence, abuse lacks usually evident clinical features and is difficult to diagnose. The aim of this study is detect the percent of alcohol and/or other substance abuse in a group of patients with mood or anxiety disorders.
Methods. A total of 386 consecutive outpatients have been valued from 1st September 1997 to 31 August 2000; 150 ambulatory patients with mood disorders and 107 with anxiety disorder based on DSM-IV criteria are included in this study (except substance-induced mood and anxiety disorders). Tests used: a semistructured interview to investigate socio-demographic and clinical characteristics; the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST) to assess the presence of alcohol; the Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST) for substance abuse.
Results. In patients with mood disorders alcohol abuse is associated with: bipolar I disorder (33.3%); bipolar II disorder (10%); major depressive disorder (6%); dysthymic disorder (4%). Substance abuse: bipolar II disorder (10%); dysthymic disorder (8%); depressive disorder NOS (5.3%); major depressive disorder (4.8%). In the group of patients with anxiety disorders alcohol abuse is in lifetime comorbidity with: panic disorder (13.2%), obsessive-compulsive disorder (2.4%). Substance abuse: panic disorder (11.3%), obsessive-compulsive disorder (4.9%).
Conclusions. The results obtained in this study are in agreement with the Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) Study.

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