Priority actions to improve the care of persons with co-occurring substance abuse and other mental disorders: a call to action.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 3900 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6178, USA.
Biological Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 9.47). 12/2004; 56(10):703-13. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2004.10.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is the nation's largest, illness-specific organization run by and for people living with depression or bipolar disorder. In November 2003, the DBSA convened a conference to address the unmet needs of substance use disorders in persons with depression or bipolar disorder. The prevalence and severity of substance use disorders that are comorbid with other mental illnesses was acknowledged; however, the DBSA conference focused on comorbid mood and substance use disorders. Unless otherwise specified, the term "substance use disorders" is used in this statement to include the full spectrum of abuse and dependence on alcohol, nicotine, and illegal and prescription drugs. Participants included 43 experts in psychiatry, psychology, addiction treatment, health care policy, primary care, adolescent health, epidemiology, and advocacy. Presentations and deliberations from the conference and articles published in this special issue of Biological Psychiatry (Vol 56) are reflected herein. Participants listened to presentations, debated workgroup reports, and provided input to interim versions of this statement. All authors approved the final version. The objectives of this statement are to assess available data, describe unmet needs, and outline priority clinical actions and research directions that are needed to improve treatment, access to care, and professional training. Recommendations for priority actions are evidence-based, when possible; however, there is a remarkable lack of empirical data in this area. When data are available, they are often gleaned from heterogeneous populations that include patients with psychiatric diagnoses other than mood disorders. Thus, by necessity, the remaining priority action recommendations are based on the opinions and clinical experiences of the experts who participated in this conference. This statement reflects input from all participants. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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