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Schizophr Bull. 1997;23(2):195-201.

Substance use disorder and the early course of illness in schizophrenia and affective psychosis.

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  • 1Dept. of Psychiatry, Albany Medical College, NY 12208, USA.


The relationship between a history of substance use disorder and the early course of psychotic illness was examined in 96 subjects with schizophrenia and 106 subjects with affective psychosis followed in the Suffolk County Mental Health Project, a longitudinal study of first-admission psychosis. Subjects received a structured diagnostic interview and clinical ratings at baseline assessment and again 6 months later. The 6-month assessment included information about treatment received during the interval. A lifetime history of substance use disorder was associated with worse clinical functioning at 6 months for schizophrenia subjects, but not for those with affective psychosis. There were no significant associations of substance use disorder with type of treatment during the interval or with self-reported compliance with medication. Schizophrenia subjects were more likely than subjects with affective psychosis to report cannabis use during the interval and to meet criteria for cannabis use disorder.

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