Mental health versus substance abuse treatment programs for dually diagnosed patients

Annelle B. Primm, Marisela B. Gomez, Ilina Tzolova-Iontchev, Walter Perry, Hong Thi Vu, Rosa M. Crum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to assess the similarities and differences of patients with co-existing psychiatric and substance use disorders attending treatment in either a mental health setting or a substance abuse treatment setting. A total of 129 patients were assessed, including 65 individuals from the substance abuse treatment center and 64 individuals from the mental health program. Treatment records were reviewed for diagnoses and sociodemographic data. While the two groups were highly similar with regard to age and ethnicity, there were significant differences in psychiatric profile, with the substance abuse treatment group having less severe diagnoses and no patients with schizophrenia, while the mental health treatment group had a majority of patients with schizophrenia. Other differences in the two groups, such as marital and parental status, disability status, and medical problems appeared to be directly linked with the aforementioned diagnostic profile. These data suggest important differences in characteristics of patients with comorbid disorders that appear to be dependent on the type of treatment program they attend. For the most effective management, integrated treatment programs should be aware of these differences and tailor service provision accordingly. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-290
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2000


  • Co-occurring disorders
  • Dual diagnosis
  • Mental illness
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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