Background and Objectives

To examine characteristics of treatment-seeking outpatients from a clinic for co-occurring disorders within an urban psychiatric hospital.


Patients (n = 131) completed six self-report scales including the Brief Symptom Inventory and Toronto Alexithymia Scale.


The most common substance use disorders were: alcohol (62%), tobacco (50%), cannabis (22%), cocaine/stimulants (18%). The most common psychiatric disorders were: mood (65%), psychotic (24%) and anxiety disorders (24%). Many of the scales correlated with the global psychiatric severity score. Patients with mood disorders had superior interpersonal functioning global scores and reported reduced drug use and reduced advice seeking. Patients with psychotic disorders had higher global psychiatric severity scores and reported higher advice seeking.

Conclusions and Scientific Significance

This preliminary study indicates that among a heterogeneous sample of patients with co-occurring disorders the more symptomatic patients may present with a wider range of impairments along with some specific differences based on psychiatric diagnosis. (Am J Addict 2013; 22:297–301)