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Comorbidity of Substance Misuse and Mental Illness in Community Mental Health and Substance Misuse Services
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BACKGROUND: Improved management of mental illness and substance misuse comorbidity is a National Health Service priority, but little is known about its prevalence and current management. AIMS: To measure the prevalence of comorbidity among patients of community mental health teams (CMHTs) and substance misuse services, and to assess the potential for joint management. METHOD: Cross-sectional prevalence survey in four urban UK centres. RESULTS: Of CMHT patients, 44% (95% CI 38.1-49.9) reported past-year problem drug use and/or harmful alcohol use; 75% (95% CI 68.2-80.2) of drug service and 85% of alcohol service patients (95% CI 74.2-93.1) had a past-year psychiatric disorder. Most comorbidity patients appear ineligible for cross-referral between services. Large proportions are not identified by services and receive no specialist intervention. CONCLUSIONS: Comorbidity is highly prevalent in CMHT, drug and alcohol treatment populations, but may be difficult to manage by cross-referral psychiatric and substance misuse services as currently configured and resourced. (Authors)
Journal
2003
183
304-313
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services