S.CHANG1, A.JEYAGURUNATHAN1, J.H.LAU1, S.SHAFIE1, E.SAMARI1, L.CETTY1, S.VERMA1, M.SUBRAMANIAM1
Institute of Mental Health1
Problematic drug use is common among psychiatric patients and is associated with poorer outcomes of illness. The aim of this study is to assess the prevalence of problematic drug use among outpatients with schizophrenia and related psychoses, and to identify sociodemographic correlates of problematic drug use and its associations.
Data from outpatients of a tertiary psychiatric hospital was analyzed (n=397). The Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST-10) was used to assess drug misuse behavior and its consequences. Information on sociodemographics, smoking status, alcohol use, symptoms severity and quality of life were collected. Bivariate analyses and multivariable logistic regression were conducted to explore correlates and associations of problematic drug use.
The prevalence of problematic drug use was 5.8% (n=23) in this sample. 4.6% (n=42) of participants reported having a low degree of problems with drug use. Gender was a significant correlate whereby more males than females reported having problematic drug use (p=0.021). Smokers with nicotine dependence were more likely to have problematic drug use than non-smokers (OR=4.79, p=0.006). Significant associations were observed between problematic drug use with quality of life in the physical health (OR=0.65, p=0.005) and environment domain (OR=1.29, p=0.045).
While the prevalence of problematic drug use in this sample is relatively low, there is a considerable number who might be at risk of having significant problems from misusing drugs. It is recommended that routine screening of drug use may be needed as part of psychiatric assessment, particularly among males and patients with nicotine dependence.