What are the harms associated with comorbidity?

Download page

The high prevalence of comorbidity means that AOD workers are frequently faced with the need to manage complex psychiatric symptoms, which may interfere with their ability to treat the client's AOD use [85]. Clients with comorbidity present to treatment with a more complex and severe clinical profile, including poorer general physical and mental health, greater drug use severity, and poorer functioning (see Figure 5) [66, 86-90]. It is not only AOD workers who must cope with the increased burden associated with comorbidity. The presence of comorbid mental health conditions can place an enormous strain on client's families and others close to them, both emotionally and financially.

Figure 5: Harms associated with comorbidity

Figure 5: Harms associated with comorbidity
Harms associated with comorbidity
Poorer social and occupational functioning
Greater drug use severity
Increased risk of self-harm and suicide
Poorer mental health
Increased homelessness
Increased risk of violence
Increased stress on relationships (including family & friends)
Poorer physical health