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Schizophr Res. 2001 Mar 1;48(1):69-82.

Substance abuse in schizophrenia: a review of the literature and a study of correlates in Sweden.

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  • 1Department of Community Medicine, Lund University, University Hospital in Malmö, S-20502, Malmö, Sweden. elizabeth.cantor-graae@smi.mas.lu.se

Abstract

The purpose of the current study is twofold: (a) to provide an overall synthesis of recent research on substance abuse in schizophrenia and (b) to present findings in a Swedish patient sample. Studies conducted since 1990 have found a wide range of abuse prevalence rates, with male gender and younger age as primary correlates. Less certainty exists regarding substance abuse as an independent risk factor for schizophrenia and its further impact on illness course. In a sample of 87 patients attending a psychiatric clinic in Malmö, lifetime prevalence of substance abuse was 48.3%, with abuse debut primarily preceding first contact for psychotic symptoms. Significant correlates of abuse were male gender, family history of substance abuse, and increased rates of hospitalization and criminality, with poorer outcome found in previous as well as current abusers. Alcohol abuse, either solely or in combination with other substances, was the main type of substance abuse. Although the specific factors (social, behavioural, genetic) that predispose schizophrenic patients to substance abuse remain unclear, the predominantly male profile of abusers might suggest a link between substance abuse and the poorer clinical outcome frequently observed, especially in male schizophrenic patients.

PMID:
11278155
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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