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Comorbidity of Mental Disorders With Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse:  Results From the Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) Study

Darrel A. Regier, MD, MPH; Mary E. Farmer, MD, MPH; Donald S. Rae, MS; Ben Z. Locke, MSPH; Samuel J. Keith, MD; Lewis L. Judd, MD; Frederick K. Goodwin, MD
JAMA. 1990;264(19):2511-2518. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450190043026.
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The prevalence of comorbid alcohol, other drug, and mental disorders in the US total community and institutional population was determined from 20 291 persons interviewed in the National Institute of Mental Health Epidemiologic Catchment Area Program. Estimated US population lifetime prevalence rates were 22.5% for any non—substance abuse mental disorder, 13.5% for alcohol dependence-abuse, and 6.1% for other drug dependence-abuse. Among those with a mental disorder, the odds ratio of having some addictive disorder was 2.7, with a lifetime prevalence of about 29% (including an overlapping 22% with an alcohol and 15% with another drug disorder). For those with either an alcohol or other drug disorder, the odds of having the other addictive disorder were seven times greater than in the rest of the population. Among those with an alcohol disorder, 37% had a comorbid mental disorder. The highest mental-addictive disorder comorbidity rate was found for those with drug (other than alcohol) disorders, among whom more than half (53%) were found to have a mental disorder with an odds ratio of 4.5. Individuals treated in specialty mental health and addictive disorder clinical settings have significantly higher odds of having comorbid disorders. Among the institutional settings, comorbidity of addictive and severe mental disorders was highest in the prison population, most notably with antisocial personality, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorders.

(JAMA. 1990;264:2511-2518)

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