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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2006 Oct;31(3):267-75. Epub 2006 Jul 24.

Addiction treatment services and co-occurring disorders: Prevalence estimates, treatment practices, and barriers.

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Department of Psychiatry, New Hampshire Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH, USA.


As the model for treating co-occurring disorders in addiction treatment settings becomes articulated, service systems need data on prevalence, current practice, and barriers to the implementation of evidence-based practices. A self-report survey was administered to 453 addiction treatment providers (43 agency directors, 110 clinical supervisors, and 300 clinicians) from a single state system of care. Data on prevalence estimates, treatment practices, and barriers to implementing services for co-occurring disorders were obtained. The three groups estimated that several co-occurring disorders were extremely common: mood disorders (40%-42%), anxiety disorders (24%-27%), posttraumatic stress disorder (24%-27%), severe mental illnesses (16%-21%), antisocial personality disorder (18%-20%), and borderline personality disorder (17%-18%). Practice patterns for patients with these co-occurring disorders differed widely, from referral to mental health programs to provision of integrated treatment. Common barriers to providing services to persons with co-occurring disorders were lack of psychiatric personnel and resources. Comprehensive surveys of an addiction treatment service system can rapidly and economically produce estimates of prevalence, current practices, and barriers to evidence-based practices. This objective information is critical for systems intending to enhance services to persons with co-occurring disorders.

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