The co-occurrence of substance abuse and mental illness is common in Egypt, yet enough studies for the prevalence or management are available. This co-occurrence adversely affects the course and outcome. Separate and parallel mental health and substance abuse treatment systems do not offer interventions that are accessible, integrated, and tailored for the presence of such co-occurrence.
The aim of this study was to screen for prevalence of dual diagnosis (co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse) among inpatients of the Institute of Psychiatry, Ain Shams University, and their clinical characteristics.
All cases referred for admission at the Institute of Psychiatry, Ain Shams University, were examined by Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV TR Axis I Disorders, addiction severity index, and then according to diagnosis reassessed by Positive and Negative Affect Scale, young mania scale, or Beck Depression Inventory.
An overall 55.5% of referred cases were having dual diagnosis, of which 42% comprised schizophrenia, 38% BAD, and 20% depression; all were male individuals with cannabis being the most-used drug followed by polysubstance use of cannabis and tramadol.
Dual diagnosis is a very common neglected condition among hospitalized psychiatric patients, with more severe illness and more impact on all aspects.