Chronic Illness Histories of Adults Entering Treatment for Co-occurring Substance Abuse and Other Mental Health Disorders


Dr. Judd, UCSD Outpatient Psychiatric Services, 140 Arbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92103. E-mail:


Little is known about the medical status of individuals entering treatment for co-occurring substance abuse and other mental disorders (COD). We analyzed the medical histories of 169 adults entering outpatient treatment for CODs, estimating lifetime prevalence of chronic illness and current smoking, comparing these rates to the general population, and examining psychiatric and substance-related correlates of chronic illness. Results revealed significantly higher prevalence of hypertension, asthma, arthritis, and smoking compared to the general US population, and showed an association between chronic illness and psychiatric symptom distress and substance use severity. Findings support integration of chronic illness management into COD treatment. (Am J Addict 2011;21:1–4)