Course and severity of substance abuse among patients with comorbid major depression

Joseph Westermeyer, Stacy Kopka, Sean Nugent

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34 Scopus citations


The authors assessed the course and severity of substance-related disorder (SRD) among patients with comorbid major depressive disorder (MDD) by means of both retrospective and concurrent data. A total of 642 patients were assessed. Data on course included lifetime use, age at first use, years of use, use in the last year, periods of abstinence, and current diagnosis. Data on severity included two measures of SRD-associated problems, substance abuse vs. dependence, self-help activities, and number of substances being abused. SRD-MDD patients tended to manifest lower levels of cannabis, opiate, and cocaine use, and more SRD-only patients were abusing three or more substances. Men with SRD-MDD demonstrated longer mean durations of abstinence compared with men with SRD-only, whereas SRD-MDD women demonstrated shorter mean durations of abstinence, compared with women with SRD-only. MDD-SRD patients showed slightly less substance abuse, but SRD severity was comparable with SRD-only patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-292
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal on Addictions
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997


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