About half of patients with personality disorder have a substance abuse disorder as well. Chief physician Øyvind Urnes from NAPP believes that it is the personality disorder that determines how the patient is doing, not the substance abuse disorder.

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This writes ROP.no. Øyvind Urnes tells: 

Personality disorder is the most important thing to focus on in severe substance abuse disorders - it is the one who decides how the patient is doing, not the intoxication

According to ROP.no, there is a high incidence of personality disorders among patients in drug treatment: About 70 percent of patients admitted to drug clinics have a personality disorder.

That is why it is so important to identify and investigate the personality disorder, and not just the substance abuse problem. The personality disorder must be addressed, primarily after one has gained control of the substance use, Urnes continues.

Lars Lien, head of the National Competence Service for Concurrent Substance Abuse and Mental Illness (ROP), on the other hand, believes that it is not only personality disorders that determine the patient's prognosis, nor that one must address the substance abuse disorder before starting treatment for personality disorders.

The substance abuse disorder and the personality disorder can and should be treated simultaneously and integrated, Lien believes.

But the ROP leader completely agrees with Urnes that the health service has so far not succeeded in detecting and treating personality disorders.

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Written by

ove heradstveit

Ove Heradstveit

Psychologist, specialist in clinical community psychology. PhD.
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