Comorbidity & substance use

In the general population, of those people with a mental health disorder, nearly one third with also have a substance use disorder in their lifetime. Among those with more severe mental health disorders the prevalence is much greater.

Licit and illicit drug use costs Australia over $68 billion per year and accounts for 13 per cent of the burden of disease. In addition, substance use problems are strongly linked to other mental health disorders. A range of projects are investigating substance use in the general population, the links to other mental health problems and evaluating new intervention programs.



  • Tait, R. J., French, D. J., Burns, R., & Anstey, K. (in press). Alcohol use and depression from middle age to the oldest old: Gender is more important than age. Int Psychogeriatrics. Accepted 10/01/2012.
  • Riper, H., & Tait, R. J. (2012). Using the Internet for Drug and Alcohol Prevention. In P. Miller (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Addictive Behaviors. Elsevier. Accepted 12/01/2012.


  • Tait, R. J., Mackinnon, A., & Christensen, H. (2011). Cannabis use and cognitive function: 8-year trajectory in a young adult cohort. Addiction, 106(12), 2195-2203. Abstract


  • Tait, R. J., & Christensen, H. (2010). A systematic review of internet based interventions for young people with problematic substance use. Medical Journal of Australia, 192, S15-S21. Full text
  • Tait, R. J., & Hulm, J. K. (2010). Brief interventions for the treatment of alcohol or other drug addiction. In B. A. Johnson (Ed.), Addiction Medicine: Science and Practice (pp. 783-793). London: Springer.
  • Ngo, H. T. T., Tait, R. J., & Hulm, J. K. (2010). Hospital psychiatric comorbidity and its role in heroin dependence treatment outcomes using naltrexone implant or methadone maintenance. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 25, 774-782. Abstract
  • Tait, R. J., Anstey, K. J., & Butterworth, P. (2010). Incidence of self-reported brain injury and the relationship with substance abuse: Findings from a longitudinal community survey. BMC Public Health. Published online 29/03/2010. Full text
  • Tait, R. J., & Christensen, H. (2010). Internet-based interventions for young people with problematic substance use: a systematic review. Medical Journal of Australia, 192(11), S15-S21. Abstract
  • Siru, R., Hulse, G. K., Khan, R. J. K., & Tait, R. J. (2010). Motivation to quit smoking among hospitalised individuals with and without mental health disorders. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 44, 640-647. Abstract


  • Siru, R., Hulse, G. K., & Tait, R. J. (2009). Assessing motivation to quit smoking in persons with mental illness: A review. Addiction, 104, 719-733. Abstract
  • Hulse, G. K., Arnold-Reed, D., Morris, N., & Tait, R. J. (2009). Improving clinical outcomes in treating heroin dependence. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 66(10), 1108-1115. Abstract


  • Macdonald, E., Gulliver, A., Christensen, H., & Griffiths, K. M. (2007). Primary care management of comorbid mental health and drug and alcohol problems: co-occurring depression/anxiety problems and substance abuse problems. Canberra: Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute.

Updated:  23 September 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, CMHR/Page Contact:  Web Admin, CMHR