The official journal of
EUROPAD - European Opiate Addiction Treatment Association
WFTOD - World Federation for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence
Editor: Icro Maremmani, MD - Pisa, Italy, EU
Associate Editors:
Thomas Clausen, MD - Oslo, Norway
Pier Paolo Pani, MD - Cagliari, Italy, EU
Marta Torrens, MD - Barcelona, Spain, EU
Statistical Editor:
Mario Miccoli, PhD - Pisa, Italy, EU

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Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems: 2011, 13, 4 (pages: 27 - 34)

Further evidence of no relationship between anxiety-depressive mental status and dual diagnosis in heroin addicts entering treatment

Lovrecic M., Lovrecic B., Rovai L., Rugani F., Maremmani A. G. I., Maremmani I.

Summary: Psychiatric symptoms are generally the rule among heroin addicts requesting treatment, and are not always the expression of an associated mental disorder. In a previous study we investigated the mental status of 1,090 Italian heroin addicts at the beginning of treatment, and its relationship to relevant demographic and clinical data through the use of standardized instruments. We concluded that the presence of depressive–anxious symptomatology in the clinical presentation appears to be unrelated to ‘dual diagnosis'. In this study we tried to replicate our previously reported study in a sample of 591 Slovenian heroin addicts (462 males and 129 females aged between 18 and 52). The results showed that psychomotor excitement was the most frequent psychiatric symptom among Slovenian heroin addicts looking for treatment; it was linked with a lower severity of drug addiction history. By contrast, the presence of depressive features in the clinical presentation of Slovenian heroin addicts appears to be a reliable indicator of general addiction severity. Psychomotor excitement and psychosis, but not depression, predict the presence of an actual dual diagnosis, in agreement with our previous study and providing further support for the view that it is important for clinicians to be able to identify major as well as minor psychomotor excitement and psychotic symptoms in heroin addicts presenting for treatment.


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