Psychiatric co-morbidity among male heroin addicts: Differences between hospital and incarcerated subjects in Taiwan

Chiao Chicy Chen, Shang Ying Tsai, Lien Wen Su, Tien Wei Yang, Chang Jer Tsai, Hai Gwo Hwu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims. To examine the differences in psychiatric co-morbidity between hospital and incarcerated groups of heroin addicts in Taiwan. Design. Life-time prevalence of DSM-III-R-based coexisting psychiatric disorders, including personality disorders, were surveyed. Settings. A psychiatric hospital and two prisons. Participants. Two hundred and sixty heroin users who were incarcerated in prisons, and 47 heroin users who voluntarily sought help in a psychiatric hospital were interviewed by board-certified psychiatrists. Measurements. Using two psychometric instruments, the Psychiatric Diagnostic Assessment (PDA) and the Structured Interview for DSM-III-R Personality Disorders (SIPD-R), psychiatric co-morbidity was assessed. Findings. Different life-time rates of coexisting psychiatric disorders among heroin addicts in different settings were found: 83% of hospital subjects and 66% of incarcerated subjects were diagnosed as having at least one coexisting axis I or II disorder. The most prevalent coexisting DSM-III-R defined axis I disorders were additional substance use disorders (alcohol and methamphetamine), while the axis II disorder was antisocial personality disorder. The hospital group had a significantly higher prevalence rate of mood disorder (p <0.001), paranoid personality disorder (p <0.05) and antisocial personality disorder (p <0.001) than the incarcerated group. Conclusions. We suggest that heroin addicts with coexisting psychiatric disorders receive relevant psychiatric treatment. Those with personality disorders, especially the antisocial type, should be considered for specialized therapeutic community programmes instead of incarceration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-832
Number of pages8
JournalAddiction
Volume94
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Heroin
Taiwan
Psychiatry
Morbidity
Antisocial Personality Disorder
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Prisons
Personality Disorders
Psychiatric Hospitals
Paranoid Personality Disorder
Therapeutic Community
Methamphetamine
Mood Disorders
Psychometrics
Substance-Related Disorders
Alcohols
Interviews

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Psychiatric co-morbidity among male heroin addicts : Differences between hospital and incarcerated subjects in Taiwan. / Chen, Chiao Chicy; Tsai, Shang Ying; Su, Lien Wen; Yang, Tien Wei; Tsai, Chang Jer; Hwu, Hai Gwo.

In: Addiction, Vol. 94, No. 6, 1999, p. 825-832.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chen, Chiao Chicy ; Tsai, Shang Ying ; Su, Lien Wen ; Yang, Tien Wei ; Tsai, Chang Jer ; Hwu, Hai Gwo. / Psychiatric co-morbidity among male heroin addicts : Differences between hospital and incarcerated subjects in Taiwan. In: Addiction. 1999 ; Vol. 94, No. 6. pp. 825-832.
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