What is the prevalence of comorbid psychiatric disorders in opioid abuse?

Updated: Mar 23, 2020
  • Author: David W Dixon, DO; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Besides opioid-induced psychiatric disorders, a high prevalence of non–opioid-related psychiatric disorders exists. In Baltimore during the early 1990s, a study of people who were addicted and treated with methadone was performed, and the lifetime prevalence of comorbid mood and anxiety disorders was 19% and 8.2%, respectively. Lifetime rates of personality disorders in decreasing frequency were as follows:

  • Antisocial disorder (25.1%)

  • Avoidant disorder (5.2%)

  • Borderline disorder (5.2%)

  • Passive aggressive disorder (4.1%)

  • Paranoid disorder (3.2%)

In women, depression, anxiety disorders, and borderline personality disorder were considerably more common, and antisocial personality disorder was less common compared to males.

In the same study, comorbid dependence was also observed for cocaine (64.7%), cannabis (50.8%), alcohol (50%), and sedatives (46.6%).

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