Improving Care for Co-Occurring Psychological Health and Substance Use Disorders: An Implementation Evaluation of the Co-Occurring Disorders Clinician Training Program
RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA
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In recent years, the prevalence of psychological health conditions among military service members has increased substantially Institute of Medicine, 2013. Posttraumatic stress disorder PTSD, for example, has emerged as one of the most common psychological health conditions among younger veterans who were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn. Studies have shown that symptoms of PTSD among veterans frequently co-occur with substance use problems, leading to poorer overall health, and a greater difficulty reintegrating into civilian life. Patients with co-occurring psychological health and substance abuse conditions have unique treatment needs, and evidence suggests that integrated treatment for these conditions that is, treatment that brings together the treatment of both the substance use and psychological health disorders may be more effective than treating each condition separately or sequentially. Patients who do not receive integrated care for co-occurring disorders CODs are at risk for poorer outcomes chiefly because the care provided does not address the interrelationship between the psychological health and substance use disorders.