Profile of Patients with Dual Diagnosis: Experience from an Integrated Dual Diagnosis Clinic in North India

  • Ghosh A B
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Background: Co-morbid substance use and mental illness is prevalent and often results in serious consequences. A specialized integrated clinic for managing this group of patients has been found to be more effective than a parallel or sequential treatment facility. Objective: This study was designed to find out the profile of dual diagnosis patients attending an integrated dual diagnosis clinic, started in August, 2011. Methods: The study was a retrospective chart-based review of consecutive patients attending an addiction treatment center in a tertiary-care hospital in north India from August, 2011 to December 2013. Provisional diagnoses were made by clinical interview and were confirmed by consultant psychiatrists following a thorough examination and critical discussion. Patients found to have comorbid non substance psychiatric disorders were registered in the Dual diagnosis clinic. All data on demographics, substance use disorder and psychiatric diagnoses, treatment, and short-term outcomes were obtained from the records. Results: Out of 1929 patients registered over a span of 28 months, 1907 (98.8%) records were traceable. Amongst these, 287(15%) had a comorbid non-substance psychiatric disorder. Mood disorders were the commonest (141, 49.1%) amongst all dual diagnoses. Psychotic disorders (65, 22.6%) were the second most prevalent diagnosis followed by anxiety and stress related disorders (58, 20.2%), organic disorders (6, 2%) and other mental disorders (22, 7.7%). Alcohol was the primary substance of use in both psychotic (30.8%) and non-psychotic (47.3%) co-occurring disorder. However, cannabis use is relatively more prevalent (23%) in the psychosis group. Mean duration of outpatient follow up was 2.6 months. A significant proportion (45.7%) of patients was improved. Conclusion: Co-occurring substance use and mental disorders are common in addiction psychiatry clinics. This group of patients has a high attrition rate and relatively poor prognosis.




Ghosh A, B. D. (2015). Profile of Patients with Dual Diagnosis: Experience from an Integrated Dual Diagnosis Clinic in North India. Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence, 03(03).

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