Co-occurring disorders are often defined by individuals who are struggling with more than one diagnosed condition. Under this section, co-occurring disorders (COD’s) refers to any person who is simultaneously dealing with a substance use disorder(s) and a severe mental illness(es). 

According to the 2020 updated version of the Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) 42, 3.2 million adults nationally are dealing with co-occurring disorders. People with co-occurring disorders are hospitalized and re-hospitalized at higher rates compared to those managing severe mental illnesses or substance use disorders separately. Persons with co-occurring disorders are at high risk for many additional problems such as difficulties with ongoing recovery, financial problems, social isolation, family problems, homelessness, sexual and physical traumatization, incarceration, and serious medical concerns.

Historically, mental health systems and substance abuse systems operated independently and did not provide concurrent treatment to those struggling with co-occurring disorders. Progress has been made in understanding co-occurring disorders and providing evidence-based treatment for individuals dealing with co-occurring disorders. However, there are still significant gaps with having accurate assessments, obtaining services in a timely fashion, receiving integrated services, and acquiring the appropriate level of care. TIP 42 (2020) indicates that 30.5% of adults with co-occurring do not receive any treatment and of those who are receiving services only 11% are receiving integrated treatment for mental health and substance use. 

The courses in this category are designed to assist behavioral health providers by providing comprehensive, recovery-oriented, trauma-informed, culturally responsive, and stage-wise/stage-matched treatment so individuals who are impacted by co-occurring disorders can receive the appropriate level and continuity of care needed. 

1 Course in Co-Occurring Disorders

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