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Comorbidity of obsessive–compulsive disorder and substance use disorder: a new heuristic

Authors

  • Natalie L. Cuzen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
    • Correspondence to: N. L. Cuzen, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town, South Africa. E-mail: natalie.cuzen@uct.ac.za

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  • Dan J. Stein,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
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  • Christine Lochner,

    1. MRC Unit on Anxiety and Stress Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa
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  • Naomi A. Fineberg

    1. National Obsessive Compulsive Disorders Specialist Service, Hertfordshire Partnership NHS, University Foundation Trust, Queen Elizabeth II Hospital, Welwyn Garden City, UK
    2. University of Hertfordshire Postgraduate Medical School, College Lane, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK
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Abstract

Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) and substance use disorder share several aspects of phenomenology and may be underpinned by a common mechanism with compulsivity at the core. Despite this overlap, the two disorders show a variable pattern of comorbidity. Here, we review the current evidence for comorbidity across clinical and epidemiological studies, and propose a new heuristic for substance use comorbidity in OCD, based on a hypothetical threshold of OCD severity. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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