Hercilio P. Oliveira, Andre Malbergier
Institute of Psychiatry, Universidade de São Paulo (USP), São Paulo, SP, Brazil
To determine whether and to what extent cannabis dependence is associated with comorbid psychiatric disorders and specific stages of change in treatment-seeking patients.
We evaluated 80 cannabis-dependent, treatment-seeking patients residing in an urban area. Data on cannabis dependence, psychiatric disorders, and motivation were obtained using the Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry and the University of Rhode Island Change Assessment (URICA).
A diagnosis of schizophrenia was found to correlate with lower motivation scores (p = 0.038), which could have a negative effect on adherence to treatment.
The high prevalence of concurrent psychiatric disorders in cannabis-dependent patients should serve as a stimulus for early screening and treatment of such disorders. Health care professionals should be aware of the magnitude of this association to increase the level of motivation in cannabis-dependent patients with severe concurrent psychiatric disorders.
Key words: Psychoactive substance use disorder; psychosocial aspects of drug treatment; outpatient psychiatry; mood disorders/unipolar; psychosis