Co-Occurring Opioid Use and Depressive Disorders: Patient Characteristics and Co-Occurring Health Conditions

Kayla N. Tormohlen, Ramin Mojtabai, Anthony Seiwell, Emma E. McGinty, Elizabeth A. Stuart, Karin E. Tobin, Vanessa Troiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Among persons with opioid use disorder (OUD), co-occurring depression is linked to a greater risk of opioid misuse, overdose and suicide. Less is known about characteristics and other comorbid health conditions of persons with co-occurring opioid use and depressive disorders. Methods: This study used electronic health record (EHR) encounters from the Geisinger Health System prior to the fall of 2019. Adult patients were recruited from a medication-based treatment clinic and had an OUD diagnosis (N = 692). Co-occurring depression was defined by a depression diagnosis in the EHR. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to assess differences in characteristics, behavioral health and medical diagnoses, as well as opioid overdose and suicide attempt or ideation between individuals with and without comorbid depression. Results: Forty-seven percent of patients with OUD had a lifetime depression diagnosis. Individuals with co-occurring depression were more likely to be female and have comorbid chronic pain or other medical conditions. Co-occurring depression was associated with an increased likelihood of other mental health and substance use disorders, as well as opioid overdose and/or suicide attempt or ideation. Conclusions: While it is established that co-occurring depression is associated with increased risk of overdose and suicide, this study adds that other health conditions, including chronic pain and common medical conditions, are more prevalent among persons with co-occurring depressive disorders. Results highlight the need to consider these complex health needs when developing treatment plans and services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-303
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Dual Diagnosis
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Opioid use disorder
  • depression
  • mental health comorbidity
  • psychiatric comorbidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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