PMID: 1928026Sep 1, 1991Paper

Substance abuse and schizophrenia: impediments to optimal care

The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
I M SalloumD C Daley


With lifetime prevalence estimates of substance abuse among schizophrenics as high as 47.01%, there is an increasing awareness of the importance of this dual diagnosis and the global deficiencies in our knowledge about this comorbid condition. Patients with substance abuse disorders and schizophrenia are problematic from a clinical, economic, and health care systems perspective. The lack of systematic research into phenomenology, etiology, and treatment approaches (both psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacologic) has hindered the development of an adequate strategy to care for the needs of these patients. Thus, these patients place a significant burden on the mental health delivery system through chronic disability, social dysfunction, frequent rehospitalizations, and poor overall treatment compliance. The authors critically review the contemporary literature relevant to concurrent substance abuse and schizophrenia, highlight major deficiencies in our knowledge, and call for research to reduce the individual, economic, and social costs of this condition.


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