Skip Navigation
Login or register
Severe Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders Among Former Supplemental Security Income Beneficiaries for Drug Addiction and Alcoholism
No Recommendations Yet Click here to recommend.
Add Comment
Subscribe
Share This
Print
No Recommendations Yet Click here to recommend.
Background: Recently enacted federal legislation targeted at curbing perceived abuses of cash benefits for former Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries for drug addiction and/or alcoholism (DA&A) may be creating a residual population that is too seriously impaired to work owing to psychiatric and substance use disorders.

Method: Data in this report were derived from 1-year follow-up interviews of 204 randomly selected DA&A beneficiaries in Chicago who were initially interviewed between January 1997 and March 1997, immediately following their termination in the Supplemental Security Income DA&A program. Information on subjects' work and benefits status were collected along with DSM-III-R psychiatric and substance use disorder diagnostic information. Urine specimens were also collected and tested for recent use of marijuana, cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine, amphetamines, and methadone.

Results: Twenty-six percent had a past-year severe mental illness while 34% met the DSM-III-R criteria for drug dependence. Illegal drug use was also prevalent with about 50% of the sample testing positive for marijuana, cocaine, or opiates. Compared with those working and earning at least $500 a month, unemployed or underemployed subjects who had lost all federal benefits had a much greater likelihood of being dependent on drugs (odds ratio, 5.0; P<.005; 95% confidence interval, 1.6-15.7) and of having 2 or more comorbid psychiatric disorders (odds ratio, 6.9; P<.005; 95% confidence interval, 1.9-24.7).

Conclusions: Those who have lost DA&A disability benefits and who continue to be unemployed or underemployed have elevated rates of drug dependence and psychiatric comorbidities; consequently, helping these cases make the transition from government assistance to sustained employment is increasingly difficult. (Authors)
Journal
2000
57
7
701-707
RSS Feed
About Us  -  Contact Us
Home  -  Training  -  Homelessness Resource Center Library  -  Facts  -  Topics  -  Partners  -  Events  -  PATH  -  SSH
Advanced Search
Acknowledgements -  Help -  Accessibility -  SAMHSA Privacy Policy -  Plain Language -  Disclaimer -  SAMHSA Web Site
Download PDF Reader
A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services