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Co‐occurrence of Axis I and Axis II disorders in substance abusers

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Objective:This study examined the co‐occurrence of anxiety/mood and personality disorders (PDs) in substance abusers, the impact of anxiety/mood disorders on the symptom profiles of PDs, and the impact of anxiety/mood disorders and PDs on pre‐treatment status.

Method:Current anxiety/mood disorders and PDs and pre‐treatment status were assessed using semi‐structured interviews in 370 treated substance abusers.

Results:Anxiety/mood disorders and PDs frequently co‐occurred, with the overall pattern of associations being non‐specific. The strongest associations were of social phobia with avoidant and schizotypal PD, and of major depression with borderline PD. However, symptom profiles of PDs were not associated with anxiety/mood disorders. Finally, anxiety/mood disorders and PDs were both independently and differentially associated with poor pre‐treatment characteristics.

Conclusion:The findings suggest the clinical importance of obtaining both Axis I and Axis II diagnoses in treated substance abusers, and highlight the distinctiveness of the Axis I and Axis II disorders.
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Keywords: Axis I disorders; differential diagnosis; personality disorders; psychiatric co‐morbidity; substance use disorders

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Amsterdam Institute for Addiction Research (AIAR), University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2: Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT and 3: The APT Foundation, Inc., New Haven, CT, USA 4: Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT,

Publication date: 2000-02-01

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