There is a paucity of comparative literature on pathway to care among patients with co-occurring disorders and those with only substance use disorders. This paper aims to compare the pathways to care among patients with co-occurring disorder and those with only substance use disorders.
A cross-sectional observational study was carried out on male treatment seekers at a tertiary care substance use disorder treatment center in India. Participants were recruited in two groups, those with co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders and those with only substance use disorders. The two groups were matched for age and socio-economic status.
A total of 189 subjects with co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders and 197 subjects with substance use disorders only were recruited. Psychiatric services were the most common first point of care. However, a larger proportion of the subjects in the co-occurring disorder group received the first care from faith healers, while a greater proportion received first care from the therapeutic communities in substance use disorder only group. Initial care was sought mostly following suggestion from the family members in both the groups. The time to treatment for substance use disorders did not differ between the two groups, though the treatment seeking for substance use disorder was more delayed than that of psychiatric disorder in the co-occurring disorder group.
The findings shed light on the pathway of care followed in India and is a matter of further research.
Expansion of services and dissemination of information about psychiatric disorders and substance use disorders can provide timely care to patients with substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders.
The findings have a social implication as well. More awareness is needed currently in India for timely treatment of dual disorders.
The paper is an original research by the authors. The data were collected from the participants who reported to the dual diagnosis clinic. The findings are important as they tell us about the current understanding of dual diagnosis by the general public.
The authors acknowledge the support of the National Drug Dependence Treatment Center where this study was carried out. This work was not supported by any financial agency or under any grant.
Tripathi, R., Singh, S., Sarkar, S., Lal, R. and Balhara, Y.P.S. (2021), "Pathway to care in co-occurring disorder and substance use disorder: an exploratory, cross-sectional study from India", Advances in Dual Diagnosis, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 20-32. https://doi.org/10.1108/ADD-10-2020-0023
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