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Integrated Substance Abuse Treatment for Clients with Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders

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This cross-disciplinary training curriculum is intended for persons resourced under the federal Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Initiative who are or may become involved in the residential or community-based treatment of RSAT clients experiencing the co-occurrence of and interaction between a substance-abuse disorder (SUD) and a mental health disorder.


Envisioned prospects for this training include addiction professionals; program, security, and mental health staff; counselors; case managers; and corrections administrators responsible for delivering programming to RSAT clients. Training Module I is an introduction to co-occurring SUDs and mental health disorders (CODs). Training is provided in the signs and symptoms of CODs, the prevalence of CODs among the correctional population, and the relevance of the diagnosis and treatment of CODs to RSAT programs. Training Module II addresses screening and assessment for CODs. Topics covered in this module are diagnostic and classification procedures for identifying CODs, integrated screening practices and tools, and a comparison of risk-and-needs assessment with clinical assessment. Training Module III addresses best practices in ”integrated treatment,” defined as “the coordination of substance use and mental health interventions to treat the whole person more effectively.” Ideally, clinicians who perform integrated treatment are cross-trained in both mental health and addiction. Unified treatment teams and case management approaches enable the coordination of services that address the full range of the client’s needs more effectively. Module III reviews best practices for supporting co-occurring recovery in RSAT programs. Instruction is then provided in ways to develop integrated treatment capacities. The appendix contains a summary of potential resources for coverage and services for individuals with CODs. 104 references