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J Addict Dis. 2001;20(4):41-51.

A comparative study on schizophrenic patients with dual diagnosis.

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  • 1Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland.


As indicated in the literature, substance abuse is a significant yet complex variable in schizophrenic disorder. We evaluated hospital charts of 86 schizophrenic patients with comorbid substance use disorder and of 56 patients suffering from schizophrenia-only. We surmised that among the former group there will be a substantial proportion of patients abusing opiates and that there will be differences between schizophrenic patients abusing different drugs. Both hypotheses could be confirmed. Among our dual patients, 18 patients with alcohol, 18 patients with cannabis, and 50 patients with "hard drugs" (opiates, cocaine) use disorder were identified and several significant differences were found between the individual groups of patients in respect to basic sociodemographic and clinical variables; in particular, schizophrenic patients with alcohol use disorder (and patients suffering from schizophrenia-only) were older and better socially adjusted than schizophrenic patients with "illegal" drug use disorder. The particularities of schizophrenic patients suffering from different kinds of substance use disorder should be considered when creating individualized therapeutic programs.

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