1. What do we mean by psychiatric comorbidity or dual disorders?

Wednesday, 23 November, 2022 - 15:00 to 16:30
Knowledge market 2 (K2)

Abstract

The term psychiatric comorbidity in substance use disorders (SUD) or Dual Disorders (DD) refers to the coexistence or concurrence of at least one substance use disorder and another mental disorder in the same individual as the World Health Organization established in its lexicon of alcohol and drug terms. This presentation will focus on the theoretical framework and challenges in addressing dual disorders.

Review of literature and practical experience in the health management of dual diagnosis disorders.

The relevance of psychiatric comorbidity in substance users is related to its high prevalence, its clinical and social severity, its difficult management, and its association with poor outcomes for the subjects affected. Individuals with both a substance use disorder and another psychiatric disorder show more clinical and psychosocial severity, as well as illicit behaviours, than subjects with substance use disorders without psychiatric comorbidity. Data from European countries show high prevalence although information gaps are still relevant.

From epidemiology to diagnosis and management, the presence of Dual Disorders has progressively become a matter of great concern. The problem has become even more visible with the COVID19 pandemic. Current challenges in addressing psychiatric comorbidity in Europe are growing and it is necessary to better know the extent and the nature of the problem, to join efforts from mental health and drug use disorders services in addressing and managing of psychiatric comorbidity. The ultimate goal is to provide people suffering from both disorders with the best evidence based and feasible interventions.

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