Effects of Comorbid Opiate Dependency on Patients Admitted for Alcohol detoxification: Retrospective Chart Review and 2 Year Outcome


Background: Alcohol abuse is an important cause of medical complications in patients receiving opiate replacement therapy (ORT) and is associated with increased mortality rates. We aimed to compare the outcomes of patients receiving alcohol detoxification and were on ORT to those who were not on ORT over a 2 year period.
Method: A retrospective study assigning clinical global impression (CGI) severity and improvement subscales at the time of initial detoxification and after 2 years. The data was collected over a 2 year period from the index episode of inpatient alcohol detoxification.
Results: Individuals on ORT requiring alcohol detoxification had high CGI severity and low improvement scores, and were not discharged on a planned basis at the end of two years period compared to those who were not receiving ORT. Males were over represented in former group and they were significantly younger.
Conclusion: Our study showed that male gender and young age were poor prognostic factors and individuals on ORT who required alcohol detoxification had a worse prognosis. This might reflect adverse social circumstances, increased physical and psychiatric co-morbidity in this group. This patient group requires additional support and treatment to meet their complex needs.