Integrated co-occurring disorders services: assessment, staff, skills and systems issues

Integrated co-occurring disorders services: assessment, staff, skills and systems issues



Many clinicians are now aware of the increasing population of multiproblem, complex, co-occurring disordered clients.  However they often lack training in both addiction and mental health treatment so that clients in withdrawal from alcohol and other drugs; and those with co-occurring disorders (COD) too often receive inadequate care, caught in the gap between the mental health and addiction treatment systems.  Clinicians can feel ill equipped to face the variety of assessment, treatment and systems issues necessary to provide integrated co-occurring disorders services.

This workshop will offer guidelines to address clinical dilemmas in the assessment and treatment for those with co-occurring mental and substance-related disorders.  It will also address the differences between the addiction and mental health systems to improve skills and systems issues in integrated COD services.

Reference will be made to the Third Edition of The ASAM Criteria (American Society of Addiction Medicine) to focus person-centered assessment and services to implement integrated services.


Participants will

  1. Review the context and background of the behavioral health field that has created attitudinal and values differences contributing to fragmentation.
  2. Apply assessment strategies, techniques and priorities to determine COD treatment options.
  3. Identify staff, program and systems issues in providing integrated services for those with co-occurring mental and substance-related disorders.
  4. Discuss how to improve the range and use of treatment services to better meet the needs of clients.


9:00 AM         A. Terminology

  • Co-Occurring Disorders; integrated treatment

                        B.  Cultural Clashes in the Behavioral Health Field

  • Polarized Perspectives about Presenting Problems
  • Different Theoretical Perspectives; Different Treatment Methodologies

10:30 AM       BREAK

10:45 AM       C. Assessment Dilemmas and Skills Development

  • Diagnostic confusion between addiction and mental disorders
  • Decision Tree to assess for co-occurring disorders

                         D.  Integrated Treatment Approach

  • Treatment options and matching treatment to multidimensional needs
  • Different Approaches for Various COD Clinical Situations

12:00 PM        Lunch

1:00 PM          E.  Engaging People into Collaborative Treatment

  • Different stages of change for addiction and mental health recovery
  • Attracting people into recovery
  • Discovery versus Recovery services

                        F. Improving Integrated COD Services

  • Co-Occurring Capable, Enhanced and Complexity Capable services
  • Developing an integrated treatment approach in service delivery

2:30 PM         BREAK

2:45 PM         G. Systems Issues and Case Consultation

  • Staff, Program and Systems skills and changes

       H. Communication and conflict resolution

  • Policy and procedure

        I. Gathering data on Policy and Payment Barriers

  • Identifying and documenting systems gaps

4:00 PM         Adjourn