High rates of substance abuse have been reported in the general population and users of mental health services. In our environment, relationship between substance abuse and manic phase has not been well characterized.
Determining the prevalence of active substance abuse among patients admitted to acute mental health unit at Virgen de la Victoria Hospital at Malaga, diagnosed with mania or hipomanía.
We analysed urine and blood seeking for ethanol, cannabis and other 11 substances in 140 patients previously diagnosed with bipolar disorder prior to their admission at the Hospital for mania or hipomanía phase.
Thirty-seven percent of the patients were positive for drugs. Eighteen percent were positive for two or more drugs. Males had higher rates of abuse than females, except in MDMA and amphetamines. By subtypes, cannabis (37.2%) and ethanol (29.62%) were the most consumed drugs. In young age cohorts had higher rates of active substance abuse. Dual patients had longer average stays at hospital (2.6 days more) (Fig. 1).
Substance abuse is a major comorbidity in bipolar patients with manic phase. The active consumption of cannabis and ethanol especially emphasizes in men younger than 35 years.
We believe priority should be given to recognition and multidisclipinary approach to substance use disorders in bipolar patients. Bipolar patients with comorbid substance abuse may have a more severe course, and may be a preventable factor of new relapses. This rate could increase healthcare costs and worse quality of life of these patients.
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.