Bipolar Disorder has the highest rates of Alcohol and Other Substance Use Disorders among all the entities that constitute the Severe Mental Illness category. Different epidemiological studies have shown a lifetime prevalence of between 30 to even more than 50% of Alcohol Use Disorder in the Bipolar Spectrum category. It is still unclear the reasons for such an alarming comorbidity but different studies emphasize the adverse outcomes of this association with an increase in suicide attempts, low adherence to treatment, poorer functioning, more severe health problems and effects in the trajectory of the Bipolar Disorder. Despite the existence of FDA-approved pharmacological interventions and evidence based psychotherapeutic modalities for Alcohol Use Disorder, only a minority of this population gets any treatment.
Presenter: Javier Ballester-Gonzalez, MD