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Substance Use Disorders & Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective Disorder

Standard Substance Use Disorder Treatment

substance useA US study conducted at the Center for Health Care Evaluation in Menlo, California has published a report stating that patients who suffer from co-occurring substance use disorder and a psychiatric disorder would benefit greatly from standard substance use disorder treatment.[1]

The study included 236 male patients of which 100 percent were diagnosed with substance use disorder and either schizophrenia (62.7 percent) or schizoaffective disorder (37.3 percent).1 To treat the co-occurring disorders, patients were enrolled in either a 12-step program or cognitive-behavioral therapy and were followed up at discharge and the one and five year marks.1

Treatment Helps both Substance Use and Schizophrenia

Patients showed improvements at discharge with both their substance use disorder and schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, displaying increased self-efficacy and coping skills.1 Also, patients who had received greater support from the treatment program, as well as guidance in spirituality and personal problems had better outcomes.1 This led patients to continue attending outpatient treatment and 12-step programs after discharge.1

Better Substance Use Disorder Outcomes

Improvement was also seen on a one- and five-year mark, especially in regards to psychiatric symptoms. Those who continued to participate in 12-step programs tended to have less psychiatric symptoms and better employment outcomes at the one-year mark.1 At the five year mark, they tended to have better substance use disorder outcomes.1

Treating patients with an integrated approach is proven to be effective according to this study’s outcomes.1 Patients who suffer from substance use disorders and psychiatric disorders may benefit from standard substance use treatments, even if they do not directly address the specific psychiatric disorder.1



[1] Davenport, L. (2013, March 7). Treating substance abuse alone helps patients with co-occurring psychosis. News Medical. Retrieved March 12, 2013, from http://www.news-medical.net/news/20130307/Treating-substance-abuse-alone-helps-patients-with-co-occurring-psychosis.aspx substance use

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