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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2010 Apr;38(3):220-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2009.12.003. Epub 2010 Feb 8.

Relationship between anxiety disorders and opiate dependence--a systematic review of the literature: implications for diagnosis and treatment.

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Laboratoire de Psychiatrie and EA 4139, Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, INSERM-IFR-99, Bordeaux, France (EU).


Our objective was to evaluate the prevalence and temporal sequence of co-occurrence of anxiety disorders with opiate dependence in order to better define the relationship between these two disorders and to improve diagnosis and treatment. The search used Medline and Toxibase up to January 1, 2009, and was based on a systematic review method. Eighteen studies were found. Prevalence of anxiety disorders assessed by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) criteria was high in opiate-dependent treated persons (lifetime prevalence ranged from 26% to 35%). Among anxiety disorders, phobic disorders have been shown to often precede the onset of opiate dependence. The identification of substance-induced versus independent anxiety disorder has important treatment implication. The monitoring of anxiety symptoms after several weeks of abstinence may allow physicians to determine the relationship between dependence and anxiety and make a reliable diagnosis of any initial anxious disorder. Specific management of anxiety disorder may then be used.

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