Comorbidity of substance use disorders with mood and anxiety disorders: results of the International Consortium in Psychiatric Epidemiology

Addict Behav. Nov-Dec 1998;23(6):893-907. doi: 10.1016/s0306-4603(98)00076-8.


This article reports the results of a cross-national investigation of patterns of comorbidity between substance use and psychiatric disorders in six studies participating in the International Consortium in Psychiatric Epidemiology. In general, there was a strong association between mood and anxiety disorders as well as conduct and antisocial personality disorder with substance disorders at all sites. The results also suggest that there is a continuum in the magnitude of comorbidity as a function of the spectrum of substance use category (use, problems, dependence), as well as a direct relationship between the number of comorbid disorders and increasing levels of severity of substance use disorders (which was particularly pronounced for drugs). Finally, whereas there was no specific temporal pattern of onset for mood disorders in relation to substance disorders, the onset of anxiety disorders was more likely to precede that of substance disorders in all countries. These results illustrate the contribution of cross-national data to understanding the patterns and risk factors for psychopathology and substance use disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Diagnosis, Dual (Psychiatry)
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • North America / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Personality Disorders / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sampling Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*