Training Substance Abuse Treatment Staff to Care for Co-Occurring Disorders

Published in: Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, v. 28, no. 3, Apr. 2005, p. 239-245

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2005

by Sarah B. Hunter, Katherine E. Watkins, Suzanne L. Wenzel, James Gilmore, John Sheehe, Anne Griffin

Read More

Access further information on this document at Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

Although co-occurring disorders have been associated with poorer substance abuse treatment outcomes and higher costs of care, few individuals with co-occurring disorders receive appropriate mental health care. This article describes the design and implementation of an intervention to improve the quality of mental health care provided in outpatient substance abuse treatment programs without requiring new treatment staff. The intervention focuses on individuals with affective and anxiety disorders and consists of three components: training and supervising staff, educating and activating clients, and linking with community resources. The authors evaluated three treatment programs (one intervention and two comparison) for the first component by having program staff complete both self-administered questionnaires and semistructured interviews. Staff knowledge and attitudes about co-occurring disorders, job satisfaction, and morale all indicated an improvement at the intervention relative to the comparison sites. The evaluation is still under way; results for implementation of the other two components and for outcomes will be reported later.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.