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Am J Addict. 2006 Mar-Apr;15(2):166-73.

Differing effects of antipsychotic medications on substance abuse treatment patients with co-occurring psychotic and substance abuse disorders.

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  • 1Circle Program at Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo (CMHIP), Pueblo, Colorado 81003, USA.


This retrospective study of patients treated in a ninety-day, inpatient, dual-diagnosis treatment program examined antipsychotic effectiveness in this population using length of stay in treatment and successful program completion as outcome measures. All patients with co-occurring substance dependence and schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder treated with olanzapine, risperidone, ziprasidone, and typical depot neuroleptics from January 2001 to December 2003 (N = 55) are the subjects of this study. Patients stayed longer in treatment when taking risperidone (82 +/- 19 days) or ziprasidone (74 +/- 21 days) compared with olanzapine (44 +/- 30 days) or typicals (47 +/- 36 days). Eighty-eight percent of risperidone patients and 64% of ziprasidone patients successfully completed the program, while only 33% of olanzapine patients and 40% of patients on typicals successfully completed the program. Risperidone and ziprasidone were associated with significantly better program performance than olanzapine or depot typicals in this population. Possible reasons for this difference are discussed.

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