In-depth Study of Personality Disorders in First-admission Patients With Substance Use Disorders

Anne-Marit Langås; Ulrik F Malt; Stein Opjordsmoen

Disclosures

BMC Psychiatry. 2012;12(180) 

In This Article

Abstract

Background: Assessment of comorbid personality disorders (PDs) in patients with substance use disorders (SUDs) is challenging due to symptom overlap, additional mental and physical disorders, and limitations of the assessment methods. Our in-depth study applied methods to overcome these difficulties.

Method: A complete catchment area sample of 61 consecutively admitted patients with SUDs, with no previous history of specialized treatment (addiction clinics, psychiatry) were studied, addressing PDs and associated clinical and demographic variables. The thorough assessments included the Psychiatric Research Interview for Substance and Mental Disorders and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II Personality Disorders.

Results: Forty-six percent of the SUD patients had at least one PD (16% antisocial [males only]; 13% borderline; and 8% paranoid, avoidant, and obsessive-compulsive, respectively). Cluster C disorders were as prevalent as Cluster B disorders. SUD patients with PDs were younger at the onset of their first SUD and at admission; used more illicit drugs; had more anxiety disorders, particularly social phobia; had more severe depressive symptoms; were more distressed; and less often attended work or school.

Conclusion: The psychiatric comorbidity and symptom load of SUD patients with PDs differed from those of SUD patients without PDs, suggesting different treatment needs, and stressing the value of the assessment of PDs in SUD patients.

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