Underdiagnosis of comorbid mental illness in repeat DUI offenders mandated to treatment

Garnett P. McMillan, David S. Timken, Jodi Lapidus, Janet C'de Baca, Sandra C. Lapham, Megan McNeal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Repeat offenders for DUI are routinely mandated to undergo alcohol treatment. These individuals have been shown to have high rates of co-occurring psychiatric disorders, which can be important for the conduct and outcomes of alcohol treatment. The extent to which treatment providers are aware of these disorders and modify treatment accordingly is unknown. As part of a larger study to investigate the impact of sanction conditions on probation outcomes, we screened 233 patients for psychiatric conditions and compared the findings with the psychiatric conditions identified during mandatory treatment by independent treatment providers. Adjusted rates of underdiagnosis were commonly high: 97.2% of bipolar disorder cases, 67.5% of major depression cases, 100% of obsessive-compulsive disorder cases, and 37.3% of drug use disorder cases remained undiagnosed during treatment. Rates of overdiagnosis were low for all disorders, with the exception of drug use disorders. These rates of underdiagnosis represent missed opportunities to improve treatment outcomes among repeat DUI offenders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-325
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Psychiatric comorbidity
  • Treatment
  • Underdiagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Underdiagnosis of comorbid mental illness in repeat DUI offenders mandated to treatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this