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Monday, May 7, 2012

Severity of anxiety in mental health versus addiction treatment settings when social anxiety and substance abuse are comorbid

There is increasing interest in the co-occurrence of social anxiety and addiction. Each investigation has a specific vantage point, e.g. the effect social anxiety has in a population with addiction or that of addiction in a population with social anxiety, which could create unique findings. Among comorbid individuals, is social anxiety more severe in people seeking treatment for anxiety, as compared to those seeking treatment for addiction?

This report compares social anxiety severity between subjects in two studies—one involving socially anxious individuals (n = 38)
seeking treatment for addictions; the other (n = 41) subjects with social anxiety and an alcohol use disorder, seeking treatment for social anxiety.

Baseline severity scores on the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale for social anxiety were compared between the groups. No significant differences were found. For both groups, social anxiety was largely in the severe range

The results suggest that clinicians should attend to social anxiety symptom severity in patients with co-occurring social anxiety and addiction, regardless of the condition for which treatment is sought.

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