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Comorbidity of substance misuse and mental illness in community mental health and substance misuse services

  • T. Weaver (a1), P. Madden (a1), V. Charles (a1), G. Stimson (a1), A. Renton (a1), P. Tyrer (a2), T. Barnes (a2), C. Bench (a2), H. Middleton (a3), N. Wright (a4), S. Paterson (a5), W. Shanahan (a6), N. Seivewright (a7), C. Ford (a8) and Comorbidity of Substance Misuse and Mental Illness Collaborative (Cosmic) Study Team...
Abstract
Background

Improved management of mental illness and substance misuse comorbidity is a National Health Service priority, but little is known about its prevalence and current management.

Aims

To measure the prevalence of comorbidity among patients of community mental health teams (CMHTs) and substance misuse services, and to assess the potential for joint management.

Method

Cross-sectional prevalence survey in four urban UK centres.

Results

Of CMHT patients, 44% (95% CI 38.1-49.9) reported past-year problem drug use and/or harmful alcohol use; 75% (95% CI 68.2-80.2) of drug service and 85% of alcohol service patients (95% CI 74.2-931) had a past-year psychiatric disorder. Most comorbidity patients appear ineligible for cross-referral between services. Large proportions are not identified by services and receive no specialist intervention.

Conclusions

Comorbidity is highly prevalent in CMHT, drug and alcohol treatment populations, but may be difficult to manage by cross-referral psychiatric and substance misuse services as currently configured and resourced.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Tim Weaver, Department of Social Science and Medicine, Imperial College London, Charing Cross Campus, The Reynolds Building, St Dunstan's Road, London W6 8RP UK. Tel: 020 7594 0863; fax: 020 7594 0866; e-mail: t.weaver@imperial.ac.uk
Footnotes
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*

Peer-review and acceptance of this paper took place before P.T. became Editor.

Declaration of interest

None. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes
References
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Comorbidity of substance misuse and mental illness in community mental health and substance misuse services

  • T. Weaver (a1), P. Madden (a1), V. Charles (a1), G. Stimson (a1), A. Renton (a1), P. Tyrer (a2), T. Barnes (a2), C. Bench (a2), H. Middleton (a3), N. Wright (a4), S. Paterson (a5), W. Shanahan (a6), N. Seivewright (a7), C. Ford (a8) and Comorbidity of Substance Misuse and Mental Illness Collaborative (Cosmic) Study Team...
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