Dual disorders in individuals under treatment for both alcohol and cocaine: Madrid study on the prevalence of dual disorders

José Luis Palomo, Francisco Arias, Néstor Szerman, Pablo Vega,, Ignacio Basurte, Beatriz Mesías

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17711/SM.0185-3325.2017.033


Introduction. Descriptive data about co-occurrence of alcohol and cocaine consumption is scarce, despite its important prevalence. Dual disordes shows high prevalence in clinical samples, and patients report worse evolution and need more health services.

Objective. To compare psychopathology in patients in treatment with lifetime alcohol and cocaine (Alc + Coc) substance use disorder (SUD) with subjects with alcohol but not cocaine (Alc) lifetime SUD and cocaine but not alcohol (Coc) SUD.

Method. The sample consisted of 837 outpatients from Madrid, Spain, under treatment in substance misuse or mental health units. Two analyses were made: we compared subjects in the Alc + Coc (n = 366) to the Alc group (n = 162), and then to the Coc group (n = 122). Socio-demographic variables were addressed by interview. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) was used to evaluate Axis I disorders and the Personality Disorder Questionnaire (PDQ) to evaluate Personality Disorders (PD).

Results. Compared to Alc group, patients in the Alc + Coc group were younger, had different socio-demographic characteristics, had more proportion of cannabis and opioid SUD, had less proportion of major depressive disorder, obsessive and depressive PD, more proportion of antisocial PD and lower suicide risk. Compared to the Coc group, they had more cannabis SUD and lower opioid SUD, showed higher prevalence of bipolar disorder, general anxiety disorder, paranoid, histrionic and dependent PD.

Discussion and conclusion. We present a cross-sectional study describing comorbidity of dual disordes on treatment-seeking concurrent alcohol and cocaine problematic users. This concurrence showed different dual disordes prevalence profile than single users in some specific mental disorders.


Alcohol; cocaine; dual disorders; comorbidity

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