Comorbidity of substance abuse and other psychiatric disorders in acute general psychiatric admissions: a study from Lebanon.Compr Psychiatry. 2002 Nov-Dec; 43(6):463-8.CP
This is the first published study from an Arab Near Eastern country to examine the comorbidity of substance abuse with other psychiatric disorders. All inpatients with substance abuse/dependence (present or past) admitted to the psychiatry unit at St. George Hospital (Lebanon) between 1979 and 1992 (N = 222) constituted the study sample. Of these, 64.9% were found to have comorbid psychiatric disorders with specific relations between individual substances and psychiatric diagnoses identified such as cocaine and bipolar disorder (42.1%), and cannabis and schizophrenia (44.8%). Patients with no axis I disorder were predominantly heroin users, most of them having antisocial personality disorder. Polydrug abuse was found among 44.9% of patients, and most of the benzodiazepine abusers belonged to this category. The pattern of comorbidity of psychiatric and substance use disorders in this Near East inpatient population compares well with findings from the Western hemisphere: cultural factors (including war) do not seem to have much of an effect on the different forms of dual diagnoses. This adds weight to the already existing literature on the need for careful psychiatric assessment in the treatment of substance abuse.