Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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ORIGINAL RESEARCH PAPER
Year : 2005  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 33-38

Substance abuse co-morbidity in schizophrenia: An inpatient study of course and outcome


1 Universal College of Medical Sciences, PB-53, Ranigaon, Bhairahawa, Nepal
2 Central Institute of Psychiatry, Kanke, Ranchi 834006, Jharkhand, India
3 'Chetna'-Institute for the Mentally Retarded, Regional Training Centre, Sector-C, Aliganj, Lucknow 226024, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Tapas K Aich
52, Betiahata (South), Near Premchand Park, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh
Nepal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.46072

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Background: Differences in opinion exist among researchers in relation to the course and outcome of substance abuse co-morbidity in schizophrenia. Aim: To compare the pattern of remission of symptoms in positive and negative schizophrenics with and without a history of substance abuse. Methods: Seventy schizophrenics were divided into two groups based on the history of presence or absence of substance abuse/dependence. Thirty-eight patients (54.3%) were diagnosed as having co-morbid alcohol/ substance abuse/dependence. Patients were rated at two-weekly intervals on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) with one follow-up rating by the end of the third month. Co-morbid substance abusers were predominantly represented by a positive syndrome and non-abusers by a negative syndrome at the time of admission. Results: Psychopathology remitted much faster in the substance-abusing group but after discharge, these patients tend to return to their pre-admission state. Conclusion: The following hypothesis is proposed based on the findings of the present study: 'Short-term inpatient outcome of substance-abusing schizophrenics is significantly better than non-substance abusing schizophrenics because of the faster rate of remission of their symptoms.' A corollary to the above hypothesis may be evolved-'through intense inpatient follow-up one may be able to differentiate substance-abusing and non-abusing schizophrenics'.



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