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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.


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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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