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עמוד בית
Sat, 15.06.24

Original Articles

IMAJ | volume

Journal 10, October 2008
pages: 672-675

Substance Abuse in Hospitalized Psychiatric Patients

    Summary

    Background: The co-morbidity rate of illicit substance abuse and major mental problems in Israel is far from clear.

    Objectives: To investigate the extent of drug abuse in a sample of psychiatric patients hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital and in the psychiatric department of a general hospital in Israel, to compare demographic and other background factors in dual-diagnosis patients with those of abuse-free mental inpatients, and to examine the time correlation between drug abuse and the appearance of major mental problems.

    Methods: Our data were derived from self-report and urine tests. The study population comprised 470 consecutively admitted patients – 250 patients in the mental health center and 220 patients in the psychiatric department of the general hospital.

    Results: The lifetime prevalence of drug abuse was 24%; cannabis abuse was found in 19.7%, opiates in 5.7%, cocaine in 2.7%, amphetamines in 3.4% and methamphetamine in 1.1%. Active abuse of drugs (during the last month) was registered in 17.3%, cannabis in 11.5%, opiates in 4.9%, amphetamine in 3.8%, cocaine in 1.3% and methamphetamine in 1.1%. We also found that 28.2% of active abusers used two or more substances. In 41.6% the drug abuse appeared prior to symptoms of the mental disorder; in 37.1% the duration of the mental disorders and the drug abuse was relatively similar, and in 21.3% of cases the duration of mental problems was longer than the duration of drug abuse. Dual-diagnosis patients were younger than non-abusers, more often male, unmarried, and of western origin.

    Conclusions

    :

    Substance abuse (especially cannabis) among hospitalized psychiatric patients in Israel is a growing problem.

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