n African Journal of Psychiatry - Aetiological understanding important for preventing mistreatment of dual diagnosis patients : letter to editor

Volume 15, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1994-8220



We completely agree with one of the most pertinent points raised by Dr. Mustafa that the diagnostic uncertainty between substance induced and primary psychotic disorders often leads to the "withdrawal-diagnostic test" on such patients by the psychiatrists. This diagnostic approach is poorly supported by scientific evidence. The author supports this viewpoint against the practice in respect of two main factors:

(a) Schizophrenic patients may remain clinically stable for a considerable duration of time after discontinuation of medication.
(b) There have been instances of rebound psychosis upon withdrawal of antipsychotic drugs in patients with substance induced psychosis.

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