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Br J Psychiatry. 2007 Feb;190:105-11.

Stability of early-phase primary psychotic disorders with concurrent substance use and substance-induced psychosis.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University, 1051 Riverside Drive, New York 10032, USA.



The stability of the diagnostic distinction between a substance-induced psychosis and a primary psychotic disorder co-occurring with substance use is not established.


To describe DSM-IV diagnostic changes over 1 year and determine the predictive validity of baseline indicators of the substance-induced psychosis v. primary psychosis distinction.


We conducted a 1-year follow-up study of 319 psychiatric emergency department admissions with diagnoses of early-phase psychosis and substance use comorbidity.


Of those with a baseline DSM-IV diagnosis of substance-induced psychosis, 25% had a diagnosis of primary psychosis at follow-up. These patients had poorer premorbid functioning, less insight into psychosis and greater family mental illness than patients with a stable diagnosis of substance-induced psychosis. Reclassifying change cases to primary psychoses on follow-up, key baseline predictors of the primary/substance-induced distinction at 1 year also included greater family history of mental illness in the primary psychosis group.


Further study of substance-induced psychoses should employ neuroscientific and behavioural approaches. Study findings can guide more accurate diagnoses at first treatment.

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