Substance use and mental health outcomes for comorbid patients in psychiatric day treatment

Stephen Magura, Andrew Rosenblum, Thomas Betzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The study's purpose was to determine treatment outcomes for patients who present with drug use vs. those presenting with no drug use at admission to a psychiatric day treatment program. Consecutively admitted patients completed confidential interviews which included psychological distress and quality of life measures and provided urine specimens for toxicology at admission and six month follow-up. Subjects positive by past 30 day self-report or urinalysis were categorized as drug users. Major psychiatric diagnoses were: major depression 25%; bipolar, 13%; other mood 13%; schizoaffective 13%; schizophrenia 13%. Drug use at admission was: cocaine 35%; marijuana 33%; opiates 18%, (meth)amphetamines, 6% For each of these drugs, the percentage of patients positive at admission who remitted from using the drug significantly exceeded the percentage negative at baseline who initiated using the drug. Overall, there were significant decreases in psychological distress and significant improvement on quality of life, but no change on positive affect. There were no significant differences between drug users and non-drug users on symptom reduction and improvement in quality of life. Psychiatric day treatment appears to benefit comorbid patients by reducing the net number of patients who actively use certain common drugs and by improving psychological status and quality of life to the same degree as for non-drug using patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalSubstance Abuse: Research and Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Co-occurring disorders
  • Comorbidity
  • Psychiatric treatment
  • Substance abuse
  • Treatment outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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