Aims To examine the psychiatric status of young cocaine users using a validated instrument for the evaluation of psychiatric comorbidity, emphasizing the distinction between independent and induced psychiatric conditions.
Design Cross-sectional study.
Setting Barcelona, Spain.
Participants A cohort of 139 young (18–30 years) adult current regular cocaine users.
Measurements The Psychiatric Research Interview for Substance and Mental Disorders (PRISM-IV, which produces diagnoses according to DSM-IV criteria, including Axis II antisocial and borderline personality disorders).
Findings Nearly 42.5% of the subjects presented psychiatric comorbidity. The most common Axis I diagnoses were mood disorders (26.6%) and anxiety disorders (13%). Increasing age, having ever received treatment for drug use and freebase cocaine use were associated with substance-induced disorders diagnoses relative to primary Axis I disorders.
Conclusions This study has shown a relatively high prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity in cocaine users recruited in non-clinical settings. Future studies examining potential differential factors associated with primary versus substance-induced disorders are necessary to optimize the implementation of more suitable approaching programmes for young regular cocaine users.