John Libbey Eurotext

Gériatrie et Psychologie Neuropsychiatrie du Vieillissement


Substance use disorder in the elderly and specified DSM-5 criteria Volume 18, issue 2, Juin 2020

1 Université de Toulouse III, Toulouse, France
2 Service de psychiatrie et psychologie, psychiatrie, CHU Toulouse, France
3 Service d’addictologie clinique, urgences réanimation médecine, CHU Toulouse, France
4 Service de gériatrie, gérontopôle, CHU Toulouse, France
* Correspondance

Background: Substance use disorder (SUD) is commonly thought to be less frequent among the elderly than among younger adults. However, this disorder could be insufficiently screened in this population. And the diagnosis could be difficult to make especially because of specificities of this population. The diagnosis is based on the criteria of the DSM-5. Nevertheless, DSM-5 criteria were elaborated for younger adults and some of them could be inappropriate for older adults. Methods: We studied the frequency of the DSM-5 criteria in a population of 59 patients aged around of 80 years, non-dependent and exposed to alcohol or benzodiazepines. We collected data relative to age, gender, type of residence (self-home or retirement house), medical past history, current treatment. Patient were also asked about their alcohol consumption, time of exposition, quantity of alcohol ingested or dose of benzodiazepines ingested and frequency of consumption. Alcohol consumption was reported as alcohol unit per day (one unit containing 10-gram alcohol). Frequency consisted in number of days with consumption in a week. Concerning benzodiazepine with evaluated the quantity by converting dose in equivalent diazepam per day. We determine the frequency of each criterion and the association with SUD diagnosis. Results: We found that 45% of patients presented a diagnosis of SUD. DSM criteria 1, 2, 4, 9, 10 and 11 were found significantly more frequently in patients with addiction than in those without addiction. On the regression analysis criteria 1, 4, 6, 9, 10 and 11 as well as the number of units of alcohol consumed per day were associated with the diagnosis of addiction. The other socio-demographic factors were not associated with the diagnosis. Conclusion: This pilot study highlights that certain DSM-5 addiction criteria seem to be more relevant to seek in the elderly.