Integrated Treatment for Substance Use Disorders

Integrated Treatment for Substance Use Disorders  Research studies indicates that most adolescents with substance abuse (SA) disorders also qualify for a diagnosis of one or more mental illnesses, including mood disorders, behavioral disorders, eating disorders, and psychosis (Shrier, Harris, Kurland, & Knight, 2003). Professionals refer to the co-occurrence of SA disorders and mental illness as a comorbidity (i.e., dual diagnosis).  Prior to the 1970s, SA treatment was provided in mental health institutions. Since that time, treatment for SA has become increasingly separate from the mental health system. The treatment is usually provided at SA treatment centers or through the alcoholics anonymous (AA) twelve-step programs.  This separation has been a problem for people with a dual diagnosis. When an individual presents with both SA disorder and mental illness, SA treatment facilities tend to refer the individual to mental health providers. Likewise, psychological services are not well equipped to handle substance-related issues and tend to refer those individuals back to SA treatment facilities. In other words, treatment providers do not address both issues at the same time. Most psychological service providers require individuals to resolve their addictions before beginning mental health treatment, and most SA treatment providers require the individuals to be psychiatrically stable before beginning SA recovery treatment.  In recent years, however, there has been a movement toward integrated treatment of SA disorders and mental illnesses or the treatment of both at the same time by the same service provider (Riggs, 2003; Sterling, Chi, & Hinman, 2011).  For this assignment, drawing upon the week’s information and ancillary research, address the following:  Discuss the integrated treatment for adolescents who have both SA disorder and mental illness. Do you support the existing model of treating one disorder first, then treating the other, or do you support the newer model of treating both at the same time? Provide at least three reasons for your position and support your argument using information from at least two academic sources and cite those sources using APA format. Create a description of a fictional adolescent struggling with both types of disorders (SA and a mental illness). Be specific in your identification of which substance-related disorder and which mental illness diagnosis the adolescent has been given; provide details about the adolescent’s symptoms, and make a recommendation for the adolescent’s treatment. Describe your recommendation, specifically mentioning whether it should be integrated or not. Provide a fictional description of the progress the adolescent makes in that treatment as a way to illustrate how and why the chosen method of treatment is effective. References:  Riggs, P. D. (2003). Treating adolescents for substance abuse and comorbid psychiatric disorders. Science and Practice Perspectives, 2(1), 18–29. Retrieved from pdf/spp-02-1-18.pdf Shrier, L. A., Harris, S. K., Kurland, M., & Knight, J. R. (2003). Substance use problems and associated psychiatric symptoms among adolescents in primary care. Pediatrics, 111(6), e699–e705. Retrieved from http:// Sterling, S., Chi, F., & Hinman, A. (2011). Integrating care for people with co-occurring alcohol and other drugs, medical, and mental health conditions. Alcohol Research and Health, 33(4), 338–349.


chapter covered:

  • Elimination Disorders Substance Use Disorders Feeding and Eating Disorders
  • Fanti, K. A. (2007). Trajectories of pure and co-occurring internalizing and externalizing problems from age 2 to age 12: Findings from the NICHD study of early childcare. Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (Order No. 3260558) Jensen, C. D., Cushing, C. C., Aylward, B. S., Craig, J. T., Sorell, D. M., & Steele, R. G. (2011). The effectiveness of motivational interviewing interventions for adolescent substance use behavior change: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79(4), 433–440. Younis, M. S., & Ali, L. D. (2012). Adolescent male with anorexia nervosa: A case report from Iraq. Child & Adolescent Psychiatry & Mental Health, 6(5) 1–5.
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