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Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons With Co-Occurring Disorders. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2005. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 42.)

Cover of Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons With Co-Occurring Disorders

Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons With Co-Occurring Disorders.

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What Is a TIP?

Treatment Improvement Protocols (TIPs), developed by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), are best-practice guidelines for the treatment of substance use disorders. CSAT draws on the experience and knowledge of clinical, research, and administrative experts to produce the TIPs, which are distributed to a growing number of facilities and individuals across the country. The audience for the TIPs is expanding beyond public and private treatment facilities as alcohol and other drug disorders are increasingly recognized as a major problem.

CSAT's Knowledge Application Program (KAP) Expert Panel, a distinguished group of experts on substance use disorders and professionals in such related fields as primary care, mental health, and social services, works with the State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors to generate topics for the TIPs. Topics are based on the field's current needs for information and guidance.

After selecting a topic, CSAT invites staff from pertinent Federal agencies and national organizations to a Resource Panel that recommends specific areas of focus as well as resources that should be considered in developing the content for the TIP. Then recommendations are communicated to a Consensus Panel composed of experts on the topic who have been nominated by their peers. This Panel participates in a series of discussions; the information and recommendations on which they reach consensus form the foundation of the TIP. The members of each Consensus Panel represent substance abuse treatment programs, hospitals, community health centers, counseling programs, criminal justice and child welfare agencies, and private practitioners. A Panel Chair (or Co-Chairs) ensures that the guidelines mirror the results of the group's collaboration.

A large and diverse group of experts closely reviews the draft document. Once the changes recommended by these field reviewers have been incorporated, the TIP is prepared for publication, in print and online. The TIPs can be accessed via the Internet at the URL: www.kap.samhsa.gov. The move to electronic media also means that the TIPs can be updated more easily so that they continue to provide the field with state-of-the-art information.

While each TIP strives to include an evidence base for the practices it recommends, CSAT recognizes that the field of substance abuse treatment is evolving, and research frequently lags behind the innovations pioneered in the field. A major goal of each TIP is to convey “front-line” information quickly but responsibly. For this reason, recommendations proffered in the TIP are attributed to either Panelists' clinical experience or the literature. If research supports a particular approach, citations are provided.

This TIP, Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons With Co-Occurring Disorders, revises TIP 9, Assessment and Treatment of Patients With Coexisting Mental Illness and Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse. The revised TIP provides information about new developments in the rapidly growing field of co-occurring substance use and mental disorders and captures the state-of-the-art in the treatment of people with co-occurring disorders. The TIP focuses on what the substance abuse treatment clinician needs to know and provides that information in an accessible manner. The TIP synthesizes knowledge and grounds it in the practical realities of clinical cases and real situations so the reader will come away with increased knowledge, encouragement, and resourcefulness in working with clients with co-occurring disorders.

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