Prevalence of nonpsychotic mental disorders does not affect treatment outcome in a homeless cocaine-dependent sample
This study presents the prevalence and treatment outcome of DUAL diagnoses (psychoactive substance use disorders [PSUD] plus other nonpsychotic mental disorders) among a population of homeless persons participating in a behavioral day treatment and contingency management drug abuse treatment program. Participants were 128 persons: 76.6% male, 23.4% female; 82.2% African-American, 17.2% Caucasian. There were 46 (35.9%) PSUDs and 82 (64.1%) DUAL participants. Cocaine (96.9%) and alcohol disorders (57.8%) were most prevalent overall, and 60.2% of participants had two or more psychoactive substance use disorders. DUAL participants had significantly more alcohol disorders than PSUDs (62.2% versus 50.0%). The most prevalent mental disorders (other than substance use) for the total and DUAL samples were, respectively, mood (51.6% and 80.5%) and anxiety (35.9% and 56.1%), and 31.3% and 48.8% had more than two mental disorders. The DUAL group had more severe problems than the PSUD group at baseline in alcohol, medical condition, employment/support, and psychiatric status areas on the ASI. Both groups showed treatment improvements at 6-months follow-up with the DUAL group showing greater mean changes than the PSUD group in five of the seven ASI areas. These findings are discussed in terms of effect of dual diagnoses on treatment outcome and study limitations related to a retrospective design and select sample of nonpsychotic mental disorders.