SAMHSA Co-Occurring News
SAMHSA is committed to closing the gap that persists between research and practice. To achieve this, SAMHSA has developed a series of KITs to helps states, communities, and organizations interested in moving best practices into the field.
These documents provide general principles and guidelines to assist in the planning, delivery, and evaluation of pharmacologic approaches to support the recovery of individuals with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders.
Data shows at least 800,000 people with serious mental illness are admitted annually to jails in the United States.
SAMHSA has sponsored the development of a website to help States and community-based agencies put into practice two practical measures of program-level capacity to address co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.
Mental and substance use conditions often co-occur. In other words, individuals with substance use conditions often have a mental health condition at the same time and vice versa.
- Approximately 8.9 million adults have co-occurring disorders; that is they have both a mental and substance use disorder
- Only 7.4 percent of individuals receive treatment for both conditions with 55.8 percent receiving no treatment at all.
Integrated treatment works
Integrated treatment or treatment that addresses mental and substance use conditions at the same time is associated with lower costs and better outcomes such as:
- Reduced substance use
- Improved psychiatric symptoms and functioning
- Decreased hospitalization
- Increased housing stability
- Fewer arrests
- Improved quality of life
SAMHSA's supports integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders. Through SAMHSA grants, publications, technical assistance and support, SAMHSA has promoted integration at the State, community and agency levels.
This Website captures many lessons learned from States administrators and community providers who are working to improve services for individuals with co-occurring disorders. Work is focused in six areas:
There are many consequences of undiagnosed, untreated, or undertreated co-occurring disorders including higher likelihood of experiencing:
- Medical illnesses
- Early Mortality
Efforts and experiences in helping individuals with co-occurring disorders that end up in the criminal justice and homeless settings or present for services in primary care settings are described under Special Topics. This section also has information to help administrators and provider serve military service members and veterans who may be experiencing co-occurring disorders.
Building a strong service system for individuals with co-occurring disorders includes involving consumers and their families in the service planning, assessment and treatment process. Learn more under Promoting Recovery.
Navajo Regional Behavioral Health Center is serving as demonstration site for integrated co-occurring disorders treatment in Indian Country. Learn more about their Co-Occurring Healing Center.
South Dakota has made considerable progress in improving services for people with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders. The state has recruited more than 150 change agents to guide and sustain its statewide efforts.
Many adults with co-occurring disorders who are homeless have trouble completing the SSI/SSDI application process and, consequently, have no consistent source of medical care. SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) can help.
Alaska is a national leader in universal screening and the collection of client data to facilitate effective treatment and track treatment outcomes for people with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders.
Learn how Connecticut has paved the way for states interested in setting co-occurring program guidelines for mental health and substance abuse treatment programs.
SAMHSA's Strategic Thinking: Eight strategic initiatives guide SAMHSA's vision for a state-of-the-art public healthcare systemSAMHSA has identified eight strategic initiatives to focus its work, improve lives, and capitalize on emerging opportunities. These initiatives align with the Affordable Care Act and Parity. Leading Change: A Plan for SAMHSA's Roles and Actions 2011-2014 describes the detailed plan and goals for each initiative.
- The Co-Occurring Webinar Series is designed to address SAMHSA's Strategic Initiatives through providing expert guidance on co-occurring disorders systems, services integration, and implementing evidence-based practices.