Opioid-dependent patients show a high rate of psychiatric comorbidities. The prevalence and characteristics of patients with dual diagnosis have not been well established in Spanish opioid agonist treatment (OAT) programmes. Thus, 621 opioid-dependent patients enrolled in OAT programmes were assessed, using the EuropASI questionnaire, for psychiatric comorbidities, which were detected in 67% of patients (anxiety 53%, mood disorders 48%, sleep disorders 41%, substance-related disorders 36%). In addition, compared with patients without a dual diagnosis, patients with dual pathology were significantly older, used benzodiazepines and cannabis in significantly greater percentages, and showed significantly more frequent infectious and non-infectious comorbidities, worse overall working status, a lower proportion of drivers and higher levels of severity regarding medical, employment, alcohol, legal, family and psychological issues. Therefore, the data showed a very high prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity in opioid-dependent patients receiving OAT in Spain and several problems frequently associated with patients with dual diagnosis. Physicians treating opioid-dependent patients should be aware of these facts to correctly identify and manage patients with a dual diagnosis.
Keywords: Comorbidity; Dual diagnosis; EuropASI questionnaire; Methadone; Opioid agonist treatment; Opioid dependence; Psychiatric.
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