Management of persons with co-occurring severe mental illness and substance use disorder: program implications

World Psychiatry. 2007 Oct;6(3):131-6.


Adults with severe mental illness have extraordinarily high rates of co-occurring substance use disorders, typically around 50% or more, which adversely affect their current adjustment, course, and outcome. Separate and parallel mental health and substance abuse treatment systems do not offer interventions that are accessible, integrated, and tailored for the presence of co-occurrence. Recent integrated interventions for this population have the specific goal of ameliorating substance use disorder and the general goal of improving adjustment and quality of life. The authors overview the current research and offer guidelines related to mission and philosophy, leadership, comprehensive reorganization, training, specific programs, and quality improvement.

Keywords: Dual diagnosis; integrated interventions; severe mental illness; substance use disorder.