Treatment of dual diagnosis disorders

Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 04/05/2012

In spite of the high association between substance use and psychiatric disorders, there is a surprising paucity of studies related to treatment and outcome. A few well–designed studies have been recently published and more studies of this nature are required in order to address the challenges posed in the treatment of dual disorders.

  • Atypical antipsychotics are commonly used for comorbid schizophrenia and SUD.
  • Whereas there is no difference between risperidone and olanzapine, clozapine appears to have a distinct advantage in reducing psychotic symptoms as well as substance abuse (including smoking).
  • There is emerging evidence that quetiapine is beneficial in dually diagnosed patients, particularly using alcohol, cocaine and amphetamine.
  • A combination of naltrexone and sertraline was found to be effective in patients with depressive disorder and alcohol dependence.
  • Effectiveness of atomoxetine is yet to be established in patients with comorbid adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder with respect to decrease in substance abuse.
  • Integrated intervention is the choice of treatment for patients with dual diagnosis.

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