Psychopathological co-morbidity in a drug-dependent population in alentejo

Co-morbidity or dual diagnosis is established by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the 'co-occurrence in the same individual of a dysfunction of psychoactive substance use and other psychiatric disorder' (WHO, 1995). There is a growing feeling on the part of psychologists and other professionals working in the treatment of addictive behaviors, that there is a high occurrence of not characterized psychopathological problems with implications for the treatment of drug addicts. Resulting from this observation and the need felt in clinical practice, the Regional Delegation of the Alentejo proposed a group of psychologists to study the drug addicts of the Alentejo treatment centers, briefly assessing the coexistence of psychopathology, in order to improve the quality and appropriateness of the clinical intervention. The sample includes 226 persons of both sexes from outpatient treatment centers in Beja, Elvas, Évora, Alentejo Litoral and Portalegre. The overall objective of the research was to evaluate the existence of comorbidity between substance abuse and psychopathology in the whole sample. We built a data collection form for personal sociodemographic information, drug use history and previous treatments. We used the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) L. R. Derogatis, with the Portuguese adaptation (M. R. Canavarro). The authors conclude there is comorbidity between drug abuse and psychopathology. Furthermore, the psychopathological profile of the sample stands between that of the general population and of people with emotional disturbance.
Keywords: Dual Diagnosis; Addictive Behaviors; Psychopathology; B.S.I.; Alentejo.

Co-morbilidade psicopatológica numa população toxicodependente do Alentejo
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Portuguese, Portugal