BACKGROUND: Depressed and bipolar alcoholics represent a significant affective subgroup that has a poorer prognosis than either diagnosis alone. To date few systematic treatment programs have been developed to treat dual diagnosis.
METHODS: An inpatient treatment program was developed at St Patrick’s Hospital Dublin to treat dual diagnosis clients with alcohol dependence and either unipolar or bipolar affective disorder.
Clients (N=232) were assessed for depression, anxiety, elation, cravings, drink and drug intake on admission, discharge, 3 and 6 months post-discharge from the program.
- In the overall group there was a reduction in number of drinking days and units per drinking day over the study (p<.01).
- There was a 71.8% complete abstinent rate at 3 months and 55.8% at 6 months in the depression group, non-significantly greater than for the bipolar group at 64.7% and 54.1% respectively.
- Gamma GT, MCV and craving scores were significantly reduced over time (p<.01).
- Mania, depression and anxiety inventory scores fell over time in both groups (p<.01).
- 15-21-year olds were more severely anxious, had higher illicit drug use, and were more likely to relapse to drug use than older clients.
- Bipolar 1 clients were significantly more likely than bipolar 2 clients to be on mood stabilisers at all follow-up stages (p<.001).
LIMITATIONS: No control group was used.
CONCLUSIONS: There is evidence for efficacy of a specifically designed dual diagnosis inpatient treatment program as both depressed and bipolar alcoholics had significant reductions in all measurements of mood, craving, and alcohol/drug consumption by self report and biological markers, suggesting both diagnoses can be effectively treated together.
Research; J Affect Disord. 2008 Mar;106(3):265-72. Epub 2007 Aug 16. Treatment response of bipolar and unipolar alcoholics to an inpatient dual diagnosis program. Farren CK, Mc Elroy S.
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|The Dual Diagnosis Recovery Sourcebook : A Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Approach to Addiction with an Emotional Disorder
by Dennis Ortman