One hundred schizophrenic patients followed up in the outpatient department of Ain Shams University Psychiatric Institute (Cairo, Egypt) were studied for the problem of substance abuse. Twenty six percent of those patients were found to fulfill DSM-IV criteria for substance abuse. The most commonly abused substances were anti-parkinsonian drugs followed by cannabinoids, opioids, and benzodiazepines. Significant risk factors for abuse included male gender, high level of depression, smoking, and premorbid personality, with no significant association regarding schizophrenia subtype or neuroleptic drug dosage. More focusing and search for substance abuse is recommended as an important step in evaluating schizophrenic patients.
From the Department of Psychiatry, Ain Shams University Psychiatric Institute, Cairo, Egypt.
Reprints: Dr. Tarek A. A. Asaad, Professor of Psychiatry, Ain Shams University Psychiatric Institute, Faculty of Medicine, PO Box 22, Deir EL Malak, Cairo, 11657, Egypt (e-mail: email@example.com).