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Community Ment Health J. 2008 Jun;44(3):155-69. Epub 2007 Dec 11.

Counselor and client characteristics in mental health versus substance abuse treatment settings providing services for co-occurring disorders.

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  • 1Addiction Research Institute, University of Texas at Austin, 1717 West 6th Street, Suite 335, Austin, TX 78703, USA. lmangrum@mail.utexas.edu

Abstract

The study compares counselor and client characteristics of state-funded co-occurring disorder (COPSD) programs in mental health (MH) versus substance abuse (SA) settings. SA counselors more often had graduate degrees and MH counselors rated their knowledge and skills lower on two of nine COPSD best practice principles. MH clients were more frequently diagnosed with schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder, whereas SA clients displayed evidence of greater substance use severity and had higher rates of treatment completion and abstinence at discharge. Results reveal significant implications for workforce development and potential system changes to enhance COPSD services that are unique to each setting.

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