A review of research on residential programs for people with severe mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders

Drug Alcohol Rev. 2004 Dec;23(4):471-81. doi: 10.1080/09595230412331324590.


Substance use disorder is the most common and clinically significant co-morbidity among clients with severe mental illnesses, associated with poor treatment response, homelessness and other adverse outcomes. Residential programs for clients with dual disorders integrate mental health treatment, substance abuse interventions, housing and other supports. Ten controlled studies suggest that greater levels of integration of substance abuse and mental health services are more effective than less integration. Because the research is limited by methodological problems, further research is needed to establish the effectiveness of residential programs, to characterize important program elements, to establish methods to improve engagement into and retention in residential programs and to clarify which clients benefit from this type of service.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Comorbidity
  • Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Dropouts / statistics & numerical data
  • Residential Treatment* / statistics & numerical data
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers / statistics & numerical data
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Treatment Outcome