A study on the prevalence of alcohol abuse among psychiatric patients and their family members

Srinivasan G., Asokkumar M and Gandhibabu R

Background: high rates of alcohol abuse have been found among individual with mental illness such as anti social personality disorder, schizophrenia, depression and bipolar affective disorders. Clinical and social outcomes have been reported worse in this group. These ‘dual diagnosis’ patients have also been mainly investigated in the USA, and there has been very little research in Europe, where patterns of substance abuse may be different. Method: Hundred patients with psychiatric illnesses who had any contact with mental health department, RMMCH, Chidambaram as outpatient or in patient with history of alcohol abuse between Oct. 2015-Sep 2017(2 years). One hundred psychiatric patients were interviewed with a semi structured proforma and MAST (Michigan Alcohol Screening Test) Results: out of the hundred patients interviewed in my study it is found that the alcohol abusing psychiatric patients were mostly from rural and semi urban area, majority qualified with degrees, 75% are salaried and 85% married. Most of the abusing patients have co-morbid tobacco abuse.90% of the alcohol abusers had family history of alcohol abuse Majority of alcohol abusers were problematic drinkers as per MAST score (>5).In our study group 19% of anxiety disorder patients, abused alcohol. Fourteen percent each of depressive patients and schizophrenics showed alcohol abuse.

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