National Drug Strategy
National Drug Strategy

Comorbidity of mental disorders and substance use: a brief guide for the primary care clinician

8.2 Comorbidity with personality disorders

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People with personality disorders have:

Substance use is common in people with personality disorders(120, 312, 317-319).

The term 'borderline' was first used to capture the features of the personality disorder that is borderline between psychosis and neurosis and characterised by extremes of mood and thinking.

Substance use is most common in those with Cluster B type personality disorder, in particular, borderline and antisocial personality disorder(120, 313, 318-320).

Conduct disorder in childhood (a necessary prerequisite to conclude that an adult has an antisocial personality disorder) is predictive of substance-use disorders between adolescence and early adulthood(320).

People with comorbid personality disorder and substance use: Treatment for substance use in people with personality disorders is associated with a reduction in substance use(313).

Treatment for substance use is also associated with a reduction in the likelihood of being arrested(313), suggesting a reduction in criminal activity.

8.2.1 General management approaches to comorbidity

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