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Facts About Treating Co-Occurring Disorders

  • One study found that while seven to nine percent of all Medicare/Medicaid enrollees surveyed had evidence of either a substance abuse disorder or a mental disorder or both, treatment rates were only from 0.2 to 0.9 percent for people experiencing co-occurring disorders

  • Preliminary results from a follow-up study to a 1996 National Co-morbidity Survey finds that of those individuals with co-occurring disorders, only 19 percent receive treatment for both disorders. In the same study, 29 percent did not receive treatment for either disorder.

  • The health care system operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs has identified high rates of co-occurring disorders. Forty-four percent of 72,252 inpatients treated during 2001 had co-occurring substance use and mental disorders.6

  • Among veterans receiving specialized treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, 41 percent had a co-occurring substance abuse disorder.7

  • Analysis of a State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Profile (SADAP) reveals that in 1999, 142,164 individuals were admitted to state-funded alcohol and drug abuse programs specifically for treatment of a substance abuse disorder with a co-occurring mental disorder.8

  • SAMHSA's 1999 Uniform Facility Data Set (UFDS) indicates that in 1999, nearly half of all public and private facilities that provided substance abuse treatment offered services to individuals with co-occurring mental disorders.

  • Typically, individuals with co-occurring disorders who receive services through either the mental health or substance abuse treatment systems receive sequential treatment (treatment first from one provider, then another) or parallel treatment (treatment from two separate providers at the same time).

  • Despite evidence in support of integrated treatment for substance abuse disorders and mental disorders, only four percent of individuals in a Healthcare for Communities Survey reported receiving sequential care.9 Another four percent reported receiving parallel treatment.


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