The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3326.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 1

Abstract #71874

Combined effects of substance abuse and mental health severity on domains of life functioning and treatment needs

Kelly Vander Ley, PhD, Roy M. Gabriel, PhD, and Jennifer Lembach, BA. RMC Research Corporation, 522 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 1407, Portland, OR 97204

Co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders vary in severity among individuals and in the same individual over time. To better understand these relationships, exploratory descriptive analyses were conducted on a sample of clients (n=252) entering treatment at one of four outpatient substance abuse treatment agencies and screening positively for a co-occurring mental health problem. Borrowing from the co-occurring disorders conceptual framework developed by NASMHPD and NASADAD, 67% of the sample fell into the Low/Low or High/High quadrants indicating strong interrelatedness among mental health and substance abuse problems. At 6-month follow-up 49% of clients remained in the same quadrant whereas 24% showed an independent positive change (i.e., High to Low) in one domain, 20% showed an independent negative change (i.e., Low to High) in one domain, and only 6% showed a concurrent positive or negative change in both domains. Interestingly, less than 1 percent of clients showed a shift in domain severity (i.e., from Low Mental Health/High Substance Abuse to High Mental Health/Low Substance Abuse and vice versa). Additional analyses indicated that substance abuse and mental health severity in combination may influence other domains of functioning (e.g., physical health, behavioral complexity) independently, additively, or interactively. These results indicate that although substance abuse and mental health problems are interrelated the trajectory of change for each domain is relatively independent and that the combination of the two problems should be considered when assessing other treatment needs. Findings underscore the importance for comprehensive substance abuse and mental health assessments and individualized treatment planning.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Substance Abuse, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Effects of Gender, Race; and Mental Health on Substance Abuse and Treatment Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA