Increasingly, people receiving public-supported health care are seeking help for and/or presenting with both substance abuse and mental disorders. People with these co-occurring disorders often require help from many different care systems—not only substance abuse and mental health care services but often primary health care, criminal justice, and social services as well. Consequently, no single system of care is adequately prepared to help people with both mental and substance abuse disorders on its own, and many people with co-occurring disorders do not receive the continuum of specialized services they need.
Both substance abuse and mental health treatment providers recognize the importance of creating programs to treat people with co-occurring disorders. For a variety of reasons, however, they face many challenges in their efforts to fund, staff, and operate such programs.
To help address this situation, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) commissioned this project in August 2000 to identify strategies of developing effective treatment programs for people with co-occurring disorders. This project is also designed to support SAMHSA’s ongoing national training and technical assistance initiatives by identifying:
- Challenges to providing treatment
- Proven strategies and tools that providers use to overcome these challenges
- Strategies and tools that public purchasers use to build integrated care systems
- Core competencies and specific training that treatment staff should acquire. (Authors)