U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

RSAT Training Tool: Co-Occurring Disorders and Integrated Treatment Strategies

NCJ Number
Date Published

This cross-disciplinary training curriculum for administrators, staff, and treatment specialists resourced under the federal Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Initiative is intended to increase knowledge and awareness of the relationship between substance-use disorders and mental health disorders, in order to ensure that treatment for each condition supports recovery from the other condition.


Following the statement of purpose for the training, its goal, objectives, and curriculum principles are outlined. Curriculum principles include the promotion of evidence-based strategies, integrated interventions, recovery-oriented approaches, current accountability, culturally aligned content, and strength-based orientation toward clients. Practices and principles promoted in the training are presented as basic competencies to deliver integrated treatment. Competencies emphasized in the training are 1) the prevalence, course, signs, and symptoms of co-occurring disorder; 2) the interaction of symptoms between mental and substance-use disorders; 3) strategies for improving the accuracy of screening and assessment information for those who have co-occurring disorders; 4) the use of specialized screening and assessment instruments; 5) integrated treatment approaches and other evidence-based practices; 6) supervision and sanction approaches for those with co-occurring disorders; and 7) specialized services and procedures for initiating referrals for assessment and treatment services. The training modules address the signs and symptoms of co-occurring disorders, their prevalence in corrections subjects, and the relevance of training in co-occurring disorders for RSAT programs. Knowledge needed for the identification of persons with co-occurring disorders is also addressed in the training. Other training modules focus on screening and assessment practices for co-occurring disorders. Exercises and case studies are included in the training.