Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) are a very popular and enjoyable leisure activity, and there is a lack of international validated instruments to assess excessive gaming. With the growing number of gamers worldwide, adverse effects (isolation, hospitalizations, excessive use, etc.) are observed in a minority of gamers, which is a concern for society and for the scientific community. In the present study, we focused on screening gamers at potential risk of MMORPG addiction.
In this exploratory study, we focused on characteristics, online habits and problematic overuse in adult MMORPG gamers. In addition to socio-demographical data and gamer behavioral patterns, 3 different instruments for screening addiction were used in French MMORPG gamers recruited online over 10 consecutive months: the substance dependence criteria for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, fourth revised edition (DSM-IV-TR) that has been adapted for MMORPG (DAS), the qualitative Goldberg Internet Addiction Disorder scale (GIAD) and the quantitative Orman Internet Stress Scale (ISS). For all scales, a score above a specific threshold defined positivity.
The 448 participating adult gamers were mainly young adult university graduates living alone in urban areas. Participants showed high rates of both Internet addiction (44.2% for GIAD, 32.6% for ISS) and DAS positivity (27.5%). Compared to the DAS negative group, DAS positive gamers reported significantly higher rates of tolerance phenomenon (increased amount of time in online gaming to obtain the desired effect) and declared significantly more social, financial (OR: 4.85), marital (OR: 4.61), family (OR: 4.69) and/or professional difficulties (OR: 4.42) since they started online gaming. Furthermore, these gamers self-reported significantly higher rates (3 times more) of irritability, daytime sleepiness, sleep deprivation due to play, low mood and emotional changes since online gaming onset.
The DAS appeared to be a good first-line instrument to screen MMORPG addiction in online gamers. This study found high MMORPG addiction rates, and self-reported adverse symptoms in important aspects of life, including mood and sleep. This confirms the need to set up relevant prevention programs against online game overuse.
The optimal treatment of patients with substance use disorders (SUDs) requires an awareness of their comorbid mental disorders and vice versa. The prevalence of comorbidity in first-time-admitted SUD patients has been insufficiently studied. Diagnosing comorbidity in substance users is complicated by symptom overlap, symptom fluctuations, and the limitations of the assessment methods. The aim of this study was to diagnose all mental disorders in substance users living in a single catchment area, without any history of treatment for addiction or psychiatric disorders, admitted consecutively to the specialist health services. The prevalence of substance-induced versus substance-independent disorders according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), in SUD patients will be described.
First-time consecutively admitted patients from a single catchment area, aged 16 years or older, admitted to addiction clinics or departments of psychiatry as outpatients or inpatients will be screened for substance-related problems using the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test and the Drug Use Disorder Identification Test. All patients with scores above the cutoff value will be asked to participate in the study. The patients included will be diagnosed for SUD and other axis I disorders by a psychiatrist using the Psychiatric Research Interview for Substance and Mental Disorders. This interview was designed for the diagnosis of primary and substance-induced disorders in substance users. Personality disorders will be assessed according to the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV axis II disorders. The Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, the Inventory of Depressive Symptoms, the Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale, the Young Mania Rating Scale, and the Angst Hypomania Check List will be used for additional diagnostic assessments. The sociodemographic data will be recorded with the Stanley Foundation's Network Entry Questionnaire. Biochemical assessments will reveal somatic diseases that may contribute to the patient's symptoms.
This study is unique because the material represents a complete sample of first-time-admitted treatment seekers with SUD from a single catchment area. Earlier studies have not focused on first-time-admitted patients, so chronically ill patients, may have been overrepresented in those samples. This study will contribute new knowledge about mental disorders in first-time-admitted SUD patients.
Several instruments for diagnosing substance use disorders (SUD) have been developed, but to date none has emerged as the standard for community-based clinical studies. To select the most suitable SUD diagnostic instrument for its clinical trials, the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN) implemented a procedure in which 36 university-based addiction researchers and 62 community-based addiction treatment providers evaluated and ranked five widely recognized diagnostic instruments: (1) the SUD section of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID); (2) the SUD section of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview, 2nd ed. (CIDI-2); (3) the SUD section of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for DSM-IV Diagnosis (DIS-IV); (4) the Diagnostic Statistical Manual-IV Checklist (DSM-IV Checklist); and (5) the Substance Dependence Severity Scale (SDSS). To assist the evaluation and ranking process, key characteristics of each instrument were presented in tabular and narrative formats. Participants ranked each instrument from 1 (most preferred) to 5 (least preferred). The SCID received the best overall mean score (2.24) followed by the CIDI-2 (2.59), DIS (2.94), DSM Checklist (3.40) and the SDSS (3.83). After discussing the pragmatic and scientific advantages and disadvantages of each instrument, the CTN Steering Committee selected the CIDI-2. The selection of the CIDI-2 standardizes the collection of diagnostic data and provides a common diagnostic tool for practitioners and clinical researchers in the CTN. Implications for practice/research collaboration and initiatives are explored.
Substance use disorder; Assessment; Diagnosis; Clinical trials
Participants of syringe exchange programs (SEPs) exhibit high rates of substance use disorder but remain extremely ambivalent about seeking treatment. This study evaluated the effectiveness of motivational interviewing (MI) for encouraging SEP participants to enroll in substance abuse treatment. New opioid-dependent registrants to the Baltimore Needle Exchange Program (BNEP) (n=302) completed the Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV), and the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) and were randomly assigned to one of three treatment referral conditions: (1) MI, (2) job readiness (JR) (attention control), or (3) standard referral. Participants in each condition who expressed interest in treatment were referred to a treatment readiness group that provided further encouragement and referral to programs that were accepting new admissions. Participants were observed for 1 year following the intervention. The results showed that 10.9% of study participants enrolled in substance abuse treatment, although no condition effects were observed. White participants and those diagnosed with major depression were most likely to enter treatment. The results suggest that a single motivational interview is insufficient to motivate changes in treatment seeking in this population, whereas the identification of predictors of treatment enrollment is worthy of further investigation.
Major depression; Motivational interviewing; Opioid abuse; Substance abuse treatment; Syringe exchange
Our rural BC community engaged in an innovative action research project to improve access to mental health and addiction (MHA) services for citizens and increase connections and communication between primary care, community-based providers, and the formal mental health service system. Developed by a community-based steering committee, our Navigator model is aimed at anyone with mental health and addictions issues seeking help in our region. The model includes the following services: timely needs assessment, collaborative assistance with need-based care planning, appropriate information, referral, and linkage facilitation. Key features of the Navigator model are discussed, including community engagement, guiding principles, and a description of the service is provided. In our rural and remote community, a community-supported Navigator model was effective in increasing access to comprehensive, strengths-based assessment, planning and referral facilitation.
community-based participatory research; community mental health service; mental health service access; primary mental health care
Population ageing, the emergence of chronic illness, and the shift away from institutional care challenge conventional approaches to assessment systems which traditionally are problem and setting specific.
From 2002, the interRAI research collaborative undertook development of a suite of assessment tools to support assessment and care planning of persons with chronic illness, frailty, disability, or mental health problems across care settings. The suite constitutes an early example of a "third generation" assessment system.
The rationale and development strategy for the suite is described, together with a description of potential applications. To date, ten instruments comprise the suite, each comprising "core" items shared among the majority of instruments and "optional" items that are specific to particular care settings or situations.
This comprehensive suite offers the opportunity for integrated multi-domain assessment, enabling electronic clinical records, data transfer, ease of interpretation and streamlined training.
Addiction is compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance. It is accepted as a mental illness in the diagnostic nomenclature and results in substantial health, social and economic problems. In the diagnostic nomenclature, addiction was originally included in the personality disorders along with other behaviours considered deviant. But it is now considered a clinical syndrome. Addiction is multifactorially determined, with substantial genetic influence. The development of addictions is also influenced by environmental factors, and an interplay between the two. In the clinical context, addiction puts problem substance use on the agenda, and helps focus on the difficulties associated with drug use. But the concept of addiction is also used to distance the user from addicts, and in this way, may be counter-therapeutic. The addiction concept has also had a substantial influence on policy. The almost universal prohibition against drugs such as opiates, cocaine, cannabis and amphetamine has much support. But unfortunately, it has not been able to hinder the development of substance use problems. Optimism is fostered by the development of respectful ways of thinking about people with addictions, in particular, from advocates of motivational interviewing.
Addiction; Dependence; Causes and Consequences of Addiction
The two goals of this technology transfer study were to: (1) increase the number and appropriateness of services received by substance abuse patients, and thereby (2) give clinical meaning and value to research-based assessment information. A software-based Resource Guide was developed to allow counselors to easily identify local resources for referral of their patients to additional clinical and social services. Two hours of training were provided on the use of the guide. It was hoped that this software and training would provide the counselors with a concrete method of linking the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) assessment information on patient problems to appropriate, available community services. We expected improved treatment planning, increased problem services matching, better patient–counselor rapport/satisfaction and better patient-performance during treatment. Data were analyzed from 131 patients of 33 counselors from 9 treatment programs, randomly assigned to 2 groups—Standard Assessment (SA) or Enhanced Assessment (EA).
Patients of counselors in the EA group (1) had treatment plans that were better matched to their needs, (2) received significantly more and better-matched services than patients in the SA group, and (3) were less likely to leave treatment against medical advice and more likely to complete the full course of treatment than patients of counselors in the SA group. They did not have higher levels of patient satisfaction or helping alliance scores. These findings are discussed with regard to integrating empirically supported procedures into contemporary, community-based substance abuse treatment.
Technology transfer; Assessment; Training; Matching; Science-based treatment
This article reviews literature on the validity and performance characteristics of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM—IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders (SUDs) and recommends changes in these criteria that should be considered for the next edition of the DSM (DSM—V). Substantial data indicate that DSM—IV substance abuse and substance dependence are not distinct categories and that SUD criteria are best modeled as reflecting a unidimensional continuum of substance-problem severity. The conceptually and empirically problematic substance abuse diagnosis should be abandoned in the DSM—V, with substance dependence defined by a single set of criteria. Data also indicate that various individual SUD criteria should be revised, dropped, or considered for inclusion in the DSM–V. The DSM–V should provide a framework that allows the integration of categorical and dimensional approaches to diagnosis. Important areas for further research are noted.
substance use disorders; diagnostic criteria; DSM—IV; DSM—V
National attention continues to focus on the need to improve care for individuals with co-occurring mental illnesses and substance use disorders, as emphasized in the 2003 President's New Freedom Commission Report on Mental Health and recent publications from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). These reports document the need for best practice recommendations that can be translated into routine clinical care. Although efforts are underway to synthesize literature in this area, few focused recommendations are available that include expert opinion and evidence-based findings on the management of specific co-occurring disorders, such as schizophrenia and addiction. In response to the need for user-friendly recommendations on the treatment of schizophrenia and addiction, a consensus conference of experts from academic institutions and state mental health systems was organized to 1) frame the problem from clinical and systems-level perspectives; 2) identify effective and problematic psychosocial, pharmacological, and systems practices; and 3) develop a summary publication with recommendations for improving current practice. The results of the consensus meeting served as the foundation for this publication, which presents a broad set of recommendations for clinicians who treat individuals with schizophrenia. “Integrated treatment” is the new standard for evidence-based treatment for this population and recommendations are given to help clinicians implement such integrated treatment. Specific recommendations are provided concerning screening for substance use disorders in patients with schizophrenia, assessing motivation for change, managing medical conditions that commonly occur in patients with dual diagnoses (e.g., cardiovascular disease, liver complications, lung cancer, HIV, and hepatitis B or C infections) and selecting the most appropriate medications for such patients to maximize safety and minimize drug interactions, use of evidence-based psychosocial interventions for patients with dual diagnoses (e.g., Dual Recovery Therapy, modified cognitive-behavioral therapy, modified motivational enhancement therapy, and the Substance Abuse Management Module), and key pharmacotherapy principles for treating schizophrenia, substance use disorders, and comorbid anxiety, depression, and sleep problems in this population. Finally the article reviews programmatic and systemic changes needed to overcome treatment barriers and promote the best outcomes for this patient population. An algorithm summarizing the consensus recommendations is provided in an appendix to the article.
dual diagnosis; schizophrenia; substance use disorders; comorbidity; integrated treatment; consensus recommendations; psychosocial interventions; Dual Recovery Therapy; cognitive-behavioral therapy; motivational enhancement therapy; Substance Abuse Management Module; pharmacotherapy; antipsychotics
In non-substance-related addiction, the so-called behavioural addiction, no external psychotropic substances are consumed. The psychotropic effect consists of the body’s own biochemical processes induced only by excessive activities. Until recently, knowledge was limited with respect to clinically relevant excessive reward-seeking behaviour, such as pathological gambling, excessive shopping and working which meet diagnostic criteria of dependent behaviour. To date, there is no consistent concept for diagnosis and treatment of excessive reward-seeking behaviour, and its classification is uncertain. Therefore, a clear conceptualization of the so-called behavioural addictions is of great importance. The use of adequate diagnostic instruments is necessary for successful therapeutical implications.
This article provides an overview of the current popular diagnostic instruments assessing the different forms of behavioural addiction. Especially in certain areas there are only few valid and reliable instruments available to assess excessive rewarding behaviours that fulfill the criteria of addiction.
behavioural addiction; diagnoses; psychometric instruments
The aim of this study was to analyze how formal thought disorders (FTD) affect semantics and pragmatics in patients with schizophrenia.
The sample comprised subjects with schizophrenia (n = 102) who met the criteria for the disorder according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition Text Revision. In the research process, the following scales were used: Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) for psychopathology measurements; the Scale for the Assessment of Thought, Language, and Communication (TLC) for FTD, Word Accentuation Test (WAT), System for the Behavioral Evaluation of Social Skills (SECHS), the pragmatics section of the Objective Criteria Language Battery (BLOC-SR) and the verbal sections of the Wechsler Adults Intelligence Scale (WAIS) III, for assessment of semantics and pragmatics.
The results in the semantics and pragmatics sections were inferior to the average values obtained in the general population. Our data demonstrated that the more serious the FTD, the worse the performances in the Verbal-WAIS tests (particularly in its vocabulary, similarities, and comprehension sections), SECHS, and BLOC-SR, indicating that FTD affects semantics and pragmatics, although the results of the WAT indicated good premorbid language skills.
The principal conclusion we can draw from this study is the evidence that in schizophrenia the superior level of language structure seems to be compromised, and that this level is related to semantics and pragmatics; when there is an alteration in this level, symptoms of FTD appear, with a wide-ranging relationship between both language and FTD. The second conclusion is that the subject’s language is affected by the disorder and rules out the possibility of a previous verbal impairment.
schizophrenia; formal thought disorder; semantics; pragmatics
How best to provide ongoing services to patients with substance use disorders to sustain long-term recovery is a significant clinical and policy question that has not been adequately addressed. Analyzing nine years of prospective data for 991 adults who entered substance abuse treatment in a private, nonprofit managed care health plan, this study aimed to examine the components of a continuing care model (primary care, specialty substance abuse treatment, and psychiatric services) and their combined effect on outcomes over nine years after treatment entry.
In a longitudinal observational study, follow-up measures included self-reported alcohol and drug use, Addiction Severity Index scores, and service utilization data extracted from the health plan databases. Remission, defined as abstinence or non-problematic use, was the outcome measure.
A mixed-effects logistic random intercept model controlling for time and other covariates found that yearly primary care, and specialty care based on need as measured at the prior time point, were positively associated with remission over time. Persons receiving continuing care (defined as having yearly primary care and specialty substance abuse treatment and psychiatric services when needed) had twice the odds of achieving remission at follow-ups (p<.001) as those without.
Continuing care that included both primary care and specialty care management to support ongoing monitoring, self-care, and treatment as needed was important for long-term recovery of patients with substance use disorders.
The addiction severity index (ASI) is one of the most commonly used assessment devices used in the field of substance abuse. There is no research on the Chinese version of the newest scale in China so far. The study is to validate a Chinese adaptation of the fifth version of the ASI instrument.
The Chinese version of the ASI was translated and revised based on the fifth English version. Psychometric properties of the ASI were tested through face-to-face interviews. Five hundred and twenty six patients who had been in the methadone maintenance treatment clinic in Xi’an City, Shanxi Province for more than three months were interviewed by three trained interviewers. About 83% of the 526 interviewees were male. Analysis of internal consistency, reliability measures including test-retest and inter-rater correlation, and criterion validity were conducted.
Across seven domains of the Chinese version of the ASI, Cronbach’s α coefficients ranged from 0.44 to 0.79, test-retest correlation coefficients ranged from 0.68 to 0.84, inter-rater correlations ranged from 0.74 to 0.98, and the criterion validity was 0.5.
The Chinese version of the ASI has acceptable reliability and validity in a sample of drug-dependent patients.
Addiction Severity Index; reliability; validity
Several behaviors, besides psychoactive substance ingestion, produce short-term reward that may engender persistent behavior despite knowledge of adverse consequences, i.e., diminished control over the behavior. These disorders have historically been conceptualized in several ways. One view posits these disorders as lying along an impulsive-compulsive spectrum, with some classified as impulse control disorders. An alternate, but not mutually exclusive, conceptualization considers the disorders as non-substance or “behavioral” addictions.
Inform the discussion on the relationship between psychoactive substance and behavioral addictions. Methods: We review data illustrating similarities and differences between impulse control disorders or behavioral addictions and substance addictions. This topic is particularly relevant to the optimal classification of these disorders in the forthcoming fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Growing evidence suggests that behavioral addictions resemble substance addictions in many domains, including natural history, phenomenology, tolerance, comorbidity, overlapping genetic contribution, neurobiological mechanisms, and response to treatment, supporting the DSM-V Task Force proposed new category of Addiction and Related Disorders encompassing both substance use disorders and non-substance addictions. Current data suggest that this combined category may be appropriate for pathological gambling and a few other better studied behavioral addictions, e.g., Internet addiction. There is currently insufficient data to justify any classification of other proposed behavioral addictions.
Conclusions and Scientific Significance
Proper categorization of behavioral addictions or impulse control disorders has substantial implications for the development of improved prevention and treatment strategies.
behavioral addiction; classification; diagnosis; impulse control disorder; substance use disorder; compulsivity; drug abuse; impulisivity
This article reviews the research on the treatment of cigarette smoking in individuals who have comorbid mental illnesses or non-nicotinic addictions. The prevalence of smoking in mentally ill and substance-abusing populations is presented, as well as reasons for this high prevalence. The historical role of cigarettes and tobacco in mental illness and addiction is reviewed to help the reader better understand the pervasiveness of smoking in these disorders and the relative absence of intervention efforts in mental heath and addiction treatment settings. The article then discusses the several reasons for integrating smoking treatment into mental health and addiction settings. The outcome research for adult and adolescent comorbid smokers is reviewed, and barriers to treatment are discussed. The review closes with a brief discussion of models of integration and thoughts about prevention.
tobacco; mental illness; substance abuse; intervention; health services
A multi-domain suite of instruments has been developed by the interRAI research collaborative to support assessment and care planning in mental health, aged care and disability services. Each assessment instrument comprises items common to other instruments and specialized items exclusive to that instrument. This study examined the reliability of the items from five instruments supporting home care, long term care, mental health, palliative care and post-acute care.
Paired assessments on 783 individuals across 12 nations were completed within 72 hours of each other by trained assessors who were blinded to the others' assessment. Reliability was tested using weighted kappa coefficients.
The overall kappa mean value for 161 items which are common to 2 or more instruments was 0.75. The kappa mean value for specialized items varied among instruments from 0.63 to 0.73. Over 60% of items scored greater than 0.70.
The vast majority of items exceeded standard cut-offs for acceptable reliability, with only modest variation among instruments. The overall performance of these instruments showed that the interRAI suite has substantial reliability according to conventional cut-offs for interpreting the kappa statistic. The results indicate that interRAI items retain reliability when used across care settings, paving the way for cross domain application of the instruments as part of an integrated health information system.
Attenuation of drug reward has been the major focus of medication development in the addictions area to date. With the growth of research in the area of cognitive neuroscience, the importance of executive function and inhibitory cognitive control in addictive disorders is becoming increasingly apparent. An emerging strategy in the pharmacotherapy of addictions and other psychiatric disorders involves the use of medications that improve cognitive function. In particular, agents that facilitate inhibitory and attentional control, improve abstraction, planning and mental flexibility could be beneficial in the treatment of substance use disorders. Because there are multiple neurotransmitter systems involved in the regulation of cognitive function, agents from a number of drug classes have been tested. In particular, agents acting through the cholinergic, adrenergic and glutamatergic systems have shown potential for improving cognitive function in a number of psychiatric and neurologic disorders, but most of these agents have not been tested in the treatment of individuals with substance use disorders. This manuscript provides a review of clinical data supporting the use of the major classes of cognitive enhancing agents in substance use disorders. Agents that have shown promise in cognitive enhancement in other disorders, and have a theoretical or mechanistic rationale for application to substance use disorders are also highlighted.
Cognition; Addiction; Pharmacotherapy; Medications; Substance Use Disorders; Learning and Memory
The first 13 consecutive referrals to a newly established Geriatric Psychiatry Research Division (GPRD) at a community mental health center (CMHC) in Baltimore, Maryland, were evaluated with the structured clinical interview (SCID) from the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Revised (DSM-III-R). Although the referring primary diagnoses were confirmed in 54% of patients (7 of 13), an average of three new diagnoses were made for each patient that had not been considered. Of the remaining six patients, four (67%) patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia were found to have a diagnosis of affective disorder based on the SCID interview (two patients with bipolar disorder, depressed and two patients with schizoaffective disorder, depressed). In the remaining two (33%) patients, one patient had a diagnosis of mixed dementia due to longstanding alcohol abuse with a superimposed primary degenerative dementia of the Alzheimer's type. The remaining patient's initial diagnosis of dementia associated with alcoholism was changed to bipolar disorder, depressed. These results provide support for the hypothesis that older persons with psychiatric illness may have been misdiagnosed at a time of less diagnostic rigor.
Although women usually obtain family planning services during their reproductive years, their need for comprehensive preventive services that promote wellness beyond reproductive health is often ignored.
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene sought to improve the general health of women and reduce their risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes by integrating women's health services into the Baltimore County Title X program. Title X is a federal family planning grant program primarily serving low-income, uninsured people.
After completing a needs assessment, we addressed gaps in women's wellness services in 3 family planning clinics. On-site services included counseling, screening, and referral for nutrition and physical activity, adult vaccination, depression, domestic violence, smoking cessation, substance abuse, and general medical disorders. A local multidisciplinary task force provided leadership for the clinical infrastructure of the project and served as a resource for women's health referrals.
Every staff person surveyed reported that the project had a positive effect on the community and should be continued. Clients identified non–reproductive health services they needed but would not have received otherwise. During the 3-year period, patient volume increased 28% for the pilot sites, compared to 1% for the state family planning program overall.
With collaboration from a multidisciplinary community task force, the Title X family planning program can help provide needed preconception, interconception, and general women's health services, especially for women who have difficulty accessing care.
In Korea, few studies have been performed on screening instruments for the detection of at-risk drinking and alcohol use disorders in the elderly. This study evaluated the validity of three screening instruments in elderly male drinkers.
The subjects were 242 Korean men aged ≥ 65 years. Face-to-face interviews were used to identify at-risk drinking and alcohol use disorders. At-risk drinking was defined according to the criteria for heavy or binge drinking of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol use disorder was diagnosed using the criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV-text revision. The Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT), Short Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test-geriatric version (SMAST-G), and cut down, annoyed, guilty, eye-opener (CAGE) questionnaire were used as the alcohol-screening instruments. Based on the diagnostic interview results, sensitivity, specificity, and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) of the instruments were compared.
For identification of at-risk drinking, the AUDIT AUROC demonstrated greater diagnostic power than did those of SMAST-G and CAGE (both P < 0.001). In screening for alcohol use disorders, the AUDIT AUROC was also significantly higher than those of SMAST-G and CAGE (both P < 0.001). The sensitivity and specificity of screening for at-risk drinking with an AUDIT score ≥ 7 were 77.3% and 85.1%, respectively, whereas those for the alcohol use disorders with an AUDIT score ≥ 11 were 91.3% and 90.8%, respectively.
The results suggest that the AUDIT is the most effective tool in identifying problem drinkers among elderly male drinkers.
Alcohol; Mass Screening; Aged; Alcoholism
A high prevalence of lifetime psychiatric disorders among help-seeking substance abusers has been clearly established. However, the long-term course of psychiatric disorders and mental distress among help-seeking substance abusers is still unclear. The aim of this research was to examine the course of mental distress using a six-year follow-up study of treatment-seeking substance-dependent patients, and to explore whether lifetime Axis I and II disorders measured at admission predict the level of mental distress at follow-up, when age, sex, and substance-use variables measured both at baseline and at follow-up are controlled for.
A consecutive sample of substance dependent in- and outpatients (n = 287) from two counties of Norway were assessed at baseline (T1) with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (Axis I), Millon's Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (Axis II), and the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL-25 (mental distress)). At follow-up (T2), 48% (137/287 subjects, 29% women) were assessed with the HSCL-25, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, and the Drug Use Disorders Identification Test.
The stability of mental distress is a main finding and the level of mental distress remained high after six years, but was significantly lower among abstainers at T2, especially among female abstainers. Both the number of and specific lifetime Axis I disorders (social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and somatization disorder), the number of and specific Axis II disorders (anxious and impulsive personality disorders), and the severity of substance-use disorder at the index admission were all independent predictors of a high level of mental distress at follow-up, even when we controlled for age, sex, and substance use at follow-up.
These results underscore the importance of diagnosing and treating both substance-use disorder and non-substance-use disorder Axis I and Axis II disorders in the same programme.
Previous research has shown the performance of the CJDATS Co'-Occurring Disorders Screening Instruments (CODSI-MD and SMD)—six- and three-item instruments to screen for any mental disorder (CODSI-MD) and for severe mental disorders (CODSI-SMD), respectively—to be comparable or superior to other, longer instruments. This study tested the stability of the performance of the CODSI-MD and SMD across three racial/ethnic groups of offenders entering prison substance abuse treatment programs (n = 353), consisting of 96 African American, 120 Latino, and 137 White admissions. The Structured Clinical Interview (SCID) was used to obtain DSM-IV Axis I and II diagnoses; a lifetime SCID diagnosis of a mental disorder or a severe mental disorder was the criterion against which the CODSI-MD and SMD were validated. Results showed no statistical differences in sensitivity or specificity for either the CODSI-MD or SMD across the African American, Latino, and White prisoner groups. The value of the CODSI-MD and SMD as brief screens for mental disorders among offenders with diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds is discussed.
Privately-funded addiction treatment programs were surveyed to increase understanding of assessment and current treatment options for patients with co-occurring substance use and eating disorders. Data were collected from face-to-face interviews with program administrators of a nationally representative sample of 345 private addiction treatment programs. Although the majority of programs reported screening for eating disorders, programs varied in screening instruments used. Sixty-seven percent reported admitting cases of low severity. Twenty-one percent of programs attempt to treat eating disorders. These results highlight the need for education of addiction treatment professionals in assessment, referral and treatment of eating disorders.
Work from our laboratory in both in-patient and outpatient facilities utilizing the Comprehensive Analysis of Reported Drugs (CARD)™ found a significant lack of compliance to prescribed treatment medications and a lack of abstinence from drugs of abuse during active recovery. This unpublished, ongoing research provides an impetus to develop accurate genetic diagnosis and holistic approaches that will safely activate brain reward circuitry in the mesolimbic dopamine system. This editorial focuses on the neurogenetics of brain reward systems with particular reference to genes related to dopaminergic function. The terminology “Reward Deficiency Syndrome” (RDS), used to describe behaviors found to have an association with gene-based hypodopaminergic function, is a useful concept to help expand our understanding of Substance Use Disorder (SUD), process addictions, and other obsessive, compulsive and impulsive behaviors. This editorial covers the neurological basis of pleasure and the role of natural and unnatural reward in motivating and reinforcing behaviors. Additionally, it briefly describes the concept of natural dopamine D2 receptor agonist therapy coupled with genetic testing of a panel of reward genes, the Genetic Addiction Risk Score (GARS). It serves as a spring-board for this combination of novel approaches to the prevention and treatment of RDS that was developed from fundamental genomic research. We encourage further required studies.